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McDowell must explain his connection to illegal dump in Tyrone

26 February, 2004

Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment Arthur Morgan TD has called on the Minister for Justice to explain how documents apparently from his office ended up in an illegal dump in Co. Tyrone. The Sinn Féin deputy made his comments after it emerged that numerous pages of briefing notes from the Department of Justice were found in an illegal dump in Eskra, Co. Tyrone.

Deputy Morgan said, "It is absolutely unacceptable and a scandal that documents from any Government Department should end up in an illegal dump on either side of the border. But for these documents to come in the form of rubbish from the Minister for Justice's office is extraordinary.

"Michael McDowell never tires of lecturing the rest of us on law and order issues and has been to the fore in introducing draconian and regressive new legislation on an almost weekly basis since he became Minister. It is ironic that in the last six months we have seen many ordinary people put in jail because of their refusal to pay an unjust bin tax while at the same time McDowell's papers have been turning up in illegal dumps in the Six Counties and god knows where else. It is especially ironic considering I have on a number of occasions raised, to no avail, the issue of illegal dumping in Counties Tyrone and Fermanagh with the Minister for the Environment. I also raised the matter with the Environmental Protection Agency.

"Michael McDowell and indeed the Minister for the Environment, Martin Cullen should get their own house in order before lecturing the rest of us.

"We need to know from the Minister for Justice how this could have happened. We need to know if the Minister, who always claims to be so well informed, was aware of this problem before it emerged and what action he has initiated to ensure that it never happens again." ENDS

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