[Sinn Fein]

11th June 2003

Minister Cullen has questions to answer regarding proposed Bellview incinerator - Dwyer

Chairperson of Leinster Sinn Fein, New Ross Councillor John Dwyer, speaking in Wexford today, said that Environment Minister, Martin Cullen, has questions to answer in relation to the sale of the Ministers own family home, in the Bellview area of South Kilkenny, the location of a proposed waste incinerator.

Cllr Dwyer said:

``The chairman of the Waterford Port Authority, who is a party colleague of Minister Cullen, has recently confirmed that Waterford Port Authority and the Herhof corporation intend making an application to locate a waste incinerator at Bellview, South Kilkenny.

``The fact that Minister Cullen sold his own family home in this area, within the past twelve months, prompts a number of relevant questions.

``How can the general public have any confidence whatsoever in assurances from the Minister that incineration is a safe option, when the Minister, in his own case, has decided not to have one in his own backyard?

``During the debate on the Local Government Bill 2003, in Leinster House on May 14th, Minister Martin Cullen is on the record, responding to Sinn Fein TD Arthur Morgan, on the subject of waste incinerators saying: ``I would put one in my own place''.

``However the reality seems to be that Minister Cullen is not quite as prepared to have an incinerator in his own place as he would have us believe.

``Given the anticipated fall in property prices, it would certainly seem to have been a very shrewd move on the part of the Minister to have sold his house, before these proposals became a matter of public knowledge.

``Waterford county councillors, along with their counterparts on Wexford county council, voted against incineration as a waste management option last year, only for both bodies to be over-ruled by their respective, unelected county managers, using powers granted to them by the Minister for the Environment.

``I would now challenge Minister Cullen to tell us what prior knowledge the Minister had of these proposals for Bellview, when he decided to place his own family home on the market last year?'' ENDS

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