Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Latest Statements

Sinn Féin President elect Mary Lou McDonald TD gives her first major speech to party activists


Sinn Féin Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin speaking from Derry this morning said that the party's Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness would be briefing the Sinn Féin leadership tomorrow on the talks at Leeds Castle. Mr. McLaughlin said that the DUPs failure to negotiate with Sinn Féin and their attempts to re-write the Good Friday Agreement were unacceptable.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Over the last few days we saw elements within unionism once again show in the clearest possible terms that they are opposed to a process of change and to genuine equality. Sinn Féin went into the talks to secure a comprehensive agreement but what we were faced was a party who refused to negotiate and whose sole interest was in re-writing the Good Friday Agreement. This is not acceptable.

"The British and Irish governments made it clear yesterday that the only way forward is on the basis of the Agreement. They now need to ensure that the process of change continues and that the rights and entitlements of all are delivered.

"Tomorrow Martin McGuinness will brief the party leadership on the talks at Leeds Castle and we will be in contact with the two governments."ENDS


Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP speaking following the conclusion of talks at Leeds Castle said "some progress had been made across a range of issues but the DUP had not engaged, they had not negotiated". He said the responsibility now falls to the two governments for the delivery of fundamental rights and entitlements.

Mr. Adams said:

"Sinn Féin came to Leeds Castle seeking a comprehensive agreement on all of the outstanding issues. We knew it would be a huge challenge particularly given the anti-agreement agenda of the DUP and their refusal to talk to us. We did some good work with the two governments and made some progress across a range of issues.

"However the DUP have not engaged, they have not negotiated, they have not moved. If the DUP remain unwilling to accept equality, if they remain incapable of sharing power and the all-Ireland shape of the agreement, then there is an onus on the two governments and the British government in particular, to move immediately on the human rights, equality, policing and demilitarisation agendas.

"The British government must advance and accelerate the agenda of change set out in the Good Friday Agreement.

"Sinn Féin is not giving up on this. We want an agreement with unionism, including the DUP. But such an accommodation must be on the basis of equality, inclusivity and mutual respect. We remain engaged and determined to achieve progress. We have arranged to talk to the two governments over the coming days." ENDS


South Down Assembly Member Caitriona Ruane believes the latest statistics contained in the annual report by the north's chief electoral officer Denis Stanley, provides further evidence of a systematic shredding of the electoral register in the six counties.

Ms Ruane said:

"Between September and February 2004 there was a 2.6 per cent drop of in the electoral register. The impact of the individual registration system and of rolling registration has created a huge democratic deficit that is compounded by ongoing problems with photo ID and the way the electoral courts operate.

For many years the SDLP and unionist parties lobbied for the current electoral legislation on the basis of electoral fraud. Sinn Fein's success in the European and Assembly elections has exposed that as a myth. Unless this legislation is substantially amended more and more people will continued to be disenfranchised with working class communities and people with special needs particularly affected. ENDS


Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has called on both the Dublin and British Governments to designate the North West Region of Ireland an area of special economic need.

Speaking after it was announced that Fruit of the Loom was to make over 600 workers redundant at its Derry and Donegal plants Mr McLaughlin said:

"The North West area of Ireland has been haemorrhaging jobs at an unacceptable rate over the past twenty years yet both Governments seem impervious to the situation.

"I will be asking both Governments to designate the North West region of Ireland an area of special economic need that would allow for the region to become more competitive in attracting new industries.

"The infrastructure of both Derry and Donegal is antiquated and has been neglected over many years and needs rapid investment to improve it rail, road, air and sea links if we are to compete in the global market.

"This area of special needs would also need to have special status in terms of tax incentives to attract new industries.

"I would also call on Fruit of the Loom to implement a retraining scheme for its employees as part of the working week. This would prepare those people who are facing redundancy to retrain and gain other skills while maintaining their current job." ENDS


Sinn Féin economic spokesperson and Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, commenting on the 11.3% price increase by Phoenix Gas, has stated that while any increase is unwelcome Sinn Féin recognises that Phoenix Gas has tried to keep the price increase as low as possible.

Mr McLaughlin stated:

"While there are unavoidable reasons for this price increase, it is clear that it will impact most on fuel poor households. However, it is unacceptable that government has not yet implemented a fuel poverty strategy.

"Over 200,000 homes - one third of the total - in the north of Ireland are in fuel poverty and 1,300 pensioners die each year from temperature related deaths. Coming on the back of rates increases and water charges it is imperative for government to implement an anti-poverty strategy that really works. It is the responsibility of government to look after the most vulnerable in society.

"Commitments given for the creation of an all-Ireland gas industry must also be followed through as a matter of urgency. An island wide gas industry, operating in a larger market, makes economic sense and will cut costs for customers."

"Sinn Féin is aware that Phoenix Gas has been in extensive discussions with the Regulator and with the General Consumer Council on this issue and has arrived at the lowest price increase possible. This price increase must be seen in the context of increasing fuel costs globally. The reasons for this price increase can be tracked and explained. Sinn Féin welcomes the transparency surrounding this process.

"However this will not give comfort to Phoenix Gas customers who will face an average increase of just under £40 per year. The General Consumer Council has issued some very sound energy efficiency advice to customers which, if followed, could help offset some of the price increases and we would encourage people to follow that advice." ENDS


Sinn Féin West Belfast Assembly Member Fra McCann has obtained figures from Belfast City Council, which show a substantial disparity in funding allocated to community centres in nationalist areas in comparison to those in unionist areas. Cllr McCann is now considering lodging a formal complaint of discrimination with the Equality Commission over the allocation of funding in the Belfast City Council area.

Cllr McCann said:

"For years unionists have propagated the myth that the vast majority of community based funding is allocated to nationalist areas. These figures show this is definitely not the case and vast swathes of working Catholic working class communities are left without any funding. In comparative terms, unionist community centres receive significantly more funding than centres located in nationalist districts.

"If the allocation of funding is not remedied then I will be advising nationalist community workers to consult with the Equality Committee with a view to instigating action against Belfast City Council. Cllr Chris McGimpsey may view this issue as a 'red heron' but the figures don't lie. The Community based centre in the Ardoyne ward for example, receives about £35,000 less funding than the Hammer Community Centre on the Shankill.

"Vast stretches of nationalist areas are without any community provision. There is also a significant prima facie case of discrimination in relation to the amount of funding devoted to community centres in unionist areas as opposed to nationalist areas. It is important that this disparity is rectified and that community funding throughout Belfast is proportionate and equitable." ENDS


Speaking after the sentencing of Ken Barrett in Belfast Crown Court verdict today in of for the murder of Catholic solicitor Pat Finucane Sinn Fein's spokesperson on Policing and Justice, North Belfast MLA Gerry Kelly said:

"For over 30 years the institutional use of collusion has led to the deaths of hundreds of people, and the terrorising of the entire nationalist community. The case of Pat Finucane goes to the heart of this issue and is why successive British Governments have been so determined to block an independent Public Inquiry into his murder.

"The trial of Ken Barrett was used as an excuse to obstruct the recommendation of Judge Cory who recommended the establishment of a Public Inquiry into Pat Finucane's death. This bogus excuse, which was always a red heron, can no longer be used as a reason for denying full disclosure of the truth".

"Ken Barrett was a member of the UDA, an organisation which was controlled by agents like Brian Nelson who themselves were directed by British Intelligence, FRU, MI5 and Special Branch in a campaign of State sponsored murder. The sentencing today of Ken Barrett exposes yet again the murky underbelly of British Collusion with unionist paramilitaries and a full independent public inquiry must now be carried out into the murder of Pat Finucane." ENDS


Sinn Féin Dungannon councillor Francie Molloy MLA will be officially appointed as President of NILGA on Friday, September 17th, at the AGM in the Craigavon Civic Centre.

Speaking ahead of the appointment Mr Molloy said:

"It is an honour to take over as President of NILGA in what will be a very challenging year ahead. There are many pressing issues facing local government in the coming months. The Review of public administration will have major implications for our members and NILGA will ensure that local democracy and local accountability is not undermined. The impact of proposals on rates reform and the introduction of water charging will also prove to be very contentious.

"Ten years ago few would have believed that a Sinn Fein representative would today be set to become the President of NILGA. This is the successful fulfilment of d'Hondt.

"It sends out a very clear message that Sinn Féin, the SDLP, the UUP and even the DUP can work within a worker sharing mechanism. IT is important for the future of local democracy that we see this support for power sharing implemented across all local government structures and in the institutions arising out of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Power sharing can work. It has worked. The development of sound democratic accountability in our divided society is dependent on power sharing." ENDS


Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has wished the Washington Ireland Program, formerly known as the Young Leaders Programme, well for the future.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"This programme has given many young people from across Ireland a great opportunity for the past 10 years. Many people active in politics today, including very active young politicians such as Sue Ramsey, Dara O'Hagan and Chris McManus have benefited from this programme, as have many other emerging talents throughout Irish civic and political life.

"I wish this programme all the best for the future." ENDS


Sinn Féin MLA for North Belfast and party spokesperson on Policing and Justice, Gerry Kelly has said that Plastic Bullets have no place in modern policing. This comes on the day that Relatives for Justice and the Pat Finucane Centre are holding a protest to highlight the purchase of 120, 000 these lethal weapons by the Policing Board.

Speaking today Mr Kelly said:

"The Policing Board have bankrolled the purchase of Plastic Bullets for the past three years. What we have seen is that the policing board have continued to sanction the use of these lethal weapons with the purchase of 50,000 plastic bullets in 2002, another 50,000 in 2003 and 20,000 in 2004 so far. The SDLP, because of their position on the Board, need to provide clarity on their position in regards to these purchases.

"The issue here is very clear. These deadly weapons, that have been responsible for over 17 deaths and countless other injuries, need to be withdrawn immediately. Plastic Bullets have no place in modern policing and are certainly not part of the Patten recommendations. The purchase of 120,000 plastic bullets since 2002 only serves to highlight how far we have to go to fully implement Patten.

"We will be demanding that it is addressed in the talks this week at the Leeds Castle talks with the British Prime Minister." ENDS


Sinn Féin representative for Dublin South East Councillor Daithí Doolan has called on City Council management to, "respect democracy and the outcome of Tuesday evening's vote to exclude incineration from the City Development Plan".

Responding to Assistant City Manager Matt Twomey's comments, that the vote made no difference, Councillor Doolan said: "Assistant City Manager Matt Twomey has claimed that the vote on Tuesday evening will have no effect and that the incinerator will go ahead. This is a disgrace. As late as yesterday evening I had spoken to City Management and they clearly said no decision has been reached on the issue. Now we have a senior member of management contradicting this. The issue has now become one of democracy and accountability."

"The motion calling for the rezoning of the Poolbeg Peninsula was overwhelmingly endorsed by City Council. No amount of threats or bullying can overturn that decision. What we must now do is to forge ahead with the City Development Plan and also pursue a Waste Management Strategy that respects the wishes of the majority and implement a sustainable, workable waste strategy. We have provided such a strategy, A Zero Waste Strategy, one that is based on reducing the demand to produce and consume waste, reuse where appropriate and the investment in our fledgling recycling industry. It is a strategy that goes to the source of our waste crisis rather than becoming dependant on landfill or incineration.

"This Sinn Féin motion to Dublin City Council calling for a new sub zoning section whereby only industry which complies with a non thermal treatment policy would get planning permission was passed by a substantial majority. This now rules out any incinerator on the Poolbeg Peninsula."

In conclusion, Cllr. Doolan has called for Matt Twomey's comments, "to be withdrawn and for an immediate meeting with City Management to discuss and clarify the situation. I am in no doubt that any attempt to undermine or overturn the decision will be met with the sternest of opposition from myself, my party, fellow councilors and the communities that elected us."ENDS

Note : The motion calling for rezoning was passed 32 in favour, 5 against 3 abstained.


Sinn Féin Education spokesperson Seán Crowe, speaking prior to Education Minister Noel Dempsey's meeting with representatives of the OECD in Dublin this afternoon, has rejected the OECD call for the reintroduction of third level fees. He said "all this report from the OECD does is rubber stamp the Minister's intention to reintroduce fees and all that this will achieve is increased educational disadvantage." Sinn Féin this morning attended a press conference organised by the Union of Students in Ireland and supported their campaign against a return of student fees.

Deputy Crowe said:

"I believe that the OECD Report that free fees have not worked is flawed and we oppose their recommendation that they should be reintroduced. The report states what we largely already know about the 3rd level sector, that it is under funded. However the report then goes on to put forward the argument that the deficit in funding can be solved only through student contributions. Sinn Féin would refute this notion, we have consistently called for the funding of education through a genuinely progressive taxation system. In real terms all this report from the OECD does is rubber stamp the Minister's intention to reintroduce fees and all that this will achieve is increased educational disadvantage.

"Of course that is not the only issue to be tackled in terms of access to education. Sinn Féin believes that barriers to education occur at a much earlier time in a student‚s academic career and for very many students from disadvantaged areas, obstacles arise far earlier in the learning experience; in some cases as far back as the pre-school period. Greater resources needs to be put into education at the earliest stages so that young people will make it through to third level.

"The government must recognise the real importance that education plays in the Irish economy and fund it properly. Sinn Féin fully supports the campaign launched by the Union of Students in Ireland aimed at opposing the re-introduction of third level fees."ENDS


Speaking after yesterday's BMA Passive smoking seminar held in Belfast, Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O Dowd MLA, has said that there is a growing body of public opinion within the North in favour of a ban on smoking in the workplace and public places.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"I would encourage the Licensed Vintners Association to back such legislation, this legislation at the end of the day is about protecting the health of their members their staff and their customers. The prediction of economic ruin, which proceeded similar legislation in the South, has proved fruitless. The LVA, have the opportunity to help their members through this change.

The Upper Bann MLA said, "Incapacity and long-term illnesses caused by tobacco related diseases are proving to be among the major crisis problems facing the health service. Tobacco smoking and the inhaling of environmental tobacco smoke (passive smoking) are widely acknowledged by public health professionals as major, prime contributory factors to many long-term illnesses. This fact was again evidenced in the shocking figures contained in the most recent All-Ireland Cancer Registry Report published just a few weeks ago.

"Angela Smith, as the direct rule minister with responsibility for health issues, has it within her power to take immediate action to ban smoking within the workplace and all other public places. This major anti-smoking seminar, organised by the BMA, will add to the growing impetus for the need for such action. Sinn Féin is on public record as supporting the introduction of such a ban, and I believe that Angela Smith should take her direction from public health and professional bodies within the health service, such as the BMA, and introduce such a ban now, rather than pander to the dictates of multi-national companies such as British American Tobacco who are concerned only with maintaining their own massive profits from this industry." ENDS


Sinn Féin Donegal County Councillor, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has described the news that the remaining 630 Fruit of the Loom jobs in Derry and Donegal are to go as a "crushing blow" to the economy of Inishowen and the NorthWest. The company today announced that the remaining jobs would be phased out over the next 4 to 5 years. They blamed the decision of the World Trade Organisation to remove quotas on imported products from the Far East from January 2005 for their announcement to relocate most of the Irish operation to Morocco.

The Donegal North East Sinn Féin representative said:

"This announcement is another kick in the teeth to the people of Inishowen and the North West region. Donegal has already lost 5,000 jobs over the last 8 years in the textile industry alone. We have unemployment levels four times the national average. How much more can we take?

"It is now six years since Mary Harney established the Donegal Employment Initiative or 'Task Force' following the initial job losses at Fruit of the Loom in 1998. The Task Force report set job creation targets of 815 net gains per year for the following seven years. Those targets are now a distant memory. Since then we have seen more and more job losses in every corner of Donegal. The Government has failed Donegal miserably. The powers that be in Dublin and Belfast have failed Donegal and Derry miserably. It is time for an all Ireland, cross border response to the jobs crisis in the NorthWest. It is time for a new vision."

"I would call on the people of Donegal to come out and protest at the failure of the Government to tackle the ongoing jobs crisis in the county. A rally will take place on Saturday September 25th in the Market Square, Letterkenny at 3pm with the theme of 'Jobs and Equality for Donegal'. That rally had already been organised following the 800 job losses at the UNIFI plant at Letterkenny. Following this announcement of another 630 job losses, it is even more important that a huge crowd comes out to protest and to ensure that the Government hears the true extent of the anger in Donegal and the NorthWest. " ENDS


Sinn Féin MEPs Bairbre de Brún (Six Counties) and Mary Lou McDonald (Dublin) have called on the EU to focus all of its energies on securing an immediate end to the occupation of Iraq and for the UN to oversee a speedy return of sovereignty to the Iraqi people.'

Ms de Brún and Ms McDonald were speaking after a debate in the European Parliament on the situation in Iraq. In a joint statement from Strasbourg, both MEPs said:

„The bombing of Iraq was unjustified and the ongoing occupation of the country is wrong and must end. We believed then and we believe now that the way forward must be through dialogue. Tragically, thousands of civilians were killed during the war, and since the official ending of hostilities the civilian death toll continues to rise. We have also seen ongoing hostage taking and abuse of human rights, something which should end immediately.

"We are concerned that efforts to end this crisis are made all the more difficult with the EU busy pursuing and paying for its own security agenda. The true effect of the development of EU defence capacity, according to a report in 2000 of the panel on United Nations Peace Operations (Brahimi Report) has been the depletion, not enhancement, of UN peacekeeping capacity.

"We recognise the important contribution of EU humanitarian aid to Iraq, and call for an increase in aid to help provide the Iraqi population with food and medical aid. What is also required from the European Union is a commitment to do all in its power to ensure that the physical reconstruction and restoration of democracy in Iraq is handed over to the UN as a matter of urgency. This in turn must lead to a speedy hand over of power to Iraqis themselves so they can themselves determine how best to govern their country." ENDS


Sinn Féin Councillor David Cullinane has expressed deep disappointment that following a cross party delegation of Waterford City Council who met the Health Minister yesterday, that he refused to give any real time-framed commitment on Radiotherapy Services for the Southeast. Cllr Cullinane who formed part of the delegation said that the Ministers commitments where clearly "aspirational".

Cllr Cullinane said:

The meeting with the Minister yesterday allowed for a full and frank exchange of views. The delegation made key demands such as immediate development of a Satellite Radiotherapy Unit for the Southeast as part of the first phase of implementation of the Hollywood report. The delegation also demanded immediate designation of resources for patients travelling for Radiotherapy and for the implementation of a plan for a dedicated Haematology/Oncology Unit at Waterford Regional Hospital.

While the Minister stated that it was government policy to have a satellite unit in Waterford he would not be drawn on any real time-scale. In fact there is no evidence to suggest that at any level the Minister is planning to provide such a unit in Waterford to cater for the Southeast. It is no longer good enough for the Minister to simply say it is government policy that a satellite unit will be provided without providing any budgetary provision.

It is my view that the Ministers stated commitment on a Satellite Unit is Œaspirational‚. The 20,000 people who marched earlier this year in Waterford will not accept ambiguous commitments. It is important that the campaign intensifies and the government receives a very clear message that the people of Waterford and the Southeast will not accept fudge. What we want is delivery. ENDS


Sinn Féin Chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin speaking at a press conference in Belfast along with other members of the Sinn Féin talks team including Conor Murphy, Caitriona Ruane and Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew ahead of the departure of the talks team to Leeds Castle in Kent has said that 'as we prepare to fly to England, the work that needed to be done has not been done.'

Mr McLaughlin said:

"In June Gerry Adams set out the Sinn Féin objective for tomorrows talks at Leeds Castle; a comprehensive, holistic agreement which conclusively deals with all of the outstanding issues.

"Finding such an agreement has been our singular focus in weeks of intense discussion between Sinn Féin and the two governments.

"Sinn Fein has expressed privately and publicly our preparedness to face up to the challenges that this major undertaking presents. But the two governments and the DUP also need to face up to the challenges if we are to have a successful outcome.

"Sinn Féin has repeatedly said that if Leeds Castle is to have any hope of success that closure was needed, in our recent discussions with the governments, on many of the key outstanding issues. In our view, as we prepare to fly to England, the work that needed to be done has not been done.

"For example, the British government is still refusing to agree an independent, judicial inquiry into the murder of Pat Finucane, and the DUP have not even met with Sinn Fein - and are unlikely to do so in the next few days. We are concerned that the governments may be tempted to make significant concessions to the DUP's anti-Agreement agenda and, in particular, their attempts to undermine the core principle of power-sharing and the all-Ireland architecture of the Agreement. This is unacceptable.

"We are also working against a back-ground of persistent anti-peace process activities on the part of securocrats and the NIO.

"Despite these very deep worries Sinn Féin travels to Leeds Castle to do our best to find agreement. There are enormous gaps that have to be bridged by the two governments and the DUP, but in particular the British government. That is the challenge they must face up to over the coming days." ENDS

Note to Editors
Details of talks team drawn from across Ireland

President Gerry Adams MP
Vice President Pat Doherty MP
Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP
Co-ordinator Michelle Gildernew MP
National Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin MLA
Leinster House group leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD
Assembly group leader Conor Murphy MLA
Policing Gerry Kelly MLA
Human Rights & Equality Caitriona Ruane MLA
Alex Maskey MLA
Martin Ferris TD
Mary Lou McDonald MEP


Sinn Féin Human Rights and Equality Spokesperson, South Down MLA Caitríona Ruane who has recently taken on the specific brief of Women's issues has said that the Walby Report into costs of Domestic violence that revealed that domestic violence costs an estimated £23 billion per year in the England and Wales has very serious implications for the Six Counties.

Ms Ruane said:

"Details of the Walby report published estimate that domestic violence is costing the UK in excess of £23 billion a year. This report focuses not just on the considerable income losses from lost employment, substantial civil legal costs and some costs associated with moving home and health care but also on the human and emotional.

"Injuries caused by domestic violence is costing employers and workers nearly £3 billion a year and the cost in terms of providing services such as health care and housing a further £3 billion - and a further £17 billion bill for the human costs.

"While there is no clear breakdown for the costs in this part in Ireland there is very clear evidence from those working in this field that the impact of domestic violence in the Six Counties is huge. We need to challenge domestic violence wherever it occurs. Domestic violence is not acceptable. It affects people of every class, age, race, disability, and sexuality.

"This is a massive social issue that we cannot ignore. It is not just the personal and service costs in terms of women, and it is by large women, turning up in casualty departments, it is the social costs and the impact on children.

"Sinn Fein believe that we need similar research here to both identify the scale of the problem here and to identify the resources available to tackle the problem and support people leaving relationships where domestic violence occurs. It is vital that people who are affected know where to turn to for support and advice. We have to acknowledge and accept that domestic violence is widespread and that possibly as much as half of all domestic violence goes unrecorded." ENDS


Sinn Féin health spokesperson, John O'Dowd MLA, as said that the increase in figures of those accessing the needle and syringe exchange scheme reflect the growing drug culture within our society.

Mr O'Dowd said:

"Without a doubt, this scheme is having some positive impact in relation to preventing the misuse and sharing of needles and syringes by those dependent upon drugs. Indeed, I would like to see the scheme extended beyond the nine pharmacies, which presently participate in the scheme.

"However, it is clear that the availability of hard drugs is becoming increasingly widespread across the North and that proper and effective preventative and anti-drugs awareness policies need to be put in place, with a special focus directed towards the young male population. The latest figures show that four out of every five persons using the scheme are males, of whom over half are aged 30 and under.

"Right across the North, illicit drug use is recognised as one of the growing problems which we face. People cannot afford to be complacent about this increasing scourge within our midst." ENDS


Sinn Féin representative for Dublin South East Councillor Daithí Doolan has been in touch with the management of Dublin City Council this morning following last night's decision of the Council to keep the Poolbeg Peninsula incinerator free.

Councillor Doolan said:

"Last night Dublin City Council voted by a substantial majority to keep the Poolbeg Peninsula incinerator free. This is an important step for the Council but it is just one step and it needs to be followed up by the development of a sustainable long-term strategy for dealing with waste management in Dublin City.

"We believe that consecutive government policies of increasing the use of incinerators as an alternative to diminishing landfills is a case of going from bad to worse. It is a short-sighted approach which will have a hugely detrimental impact on our environment and our economy.

"The emphasis of any waste management strategy must be on the promotion of strategies at the top of the waste hierarchy (reduction, reuse, recovery where it is without damaging consequences) instead of the status quo which focuses on strategies at the bottom (recovery and disposal).

"The fact that 80% of waste, since the adoption of the current waste management plan in December 1998, in the Dublin City Council area is still going to landfill shows that little progress has been made. Given that 136,000 householders in the Dublin City council area are now using green bin or bag service it raises questions regarding enforcement and compliance with the bye-laws regarding segregation.

"I will be discussing all of these matters with the City Manager in the coming days and seeking his support. It is important that last nights decision is upheld by the City Management but if they attempt to overturn the decision it will be met with firm opposition from Sinn Féin and all those who oppose incineration.

"Last night's decision also highlights the urgent need for the repeal of government legislation which handed power in relation waste management strategies away from local authorities to unelected officials." ENDS

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