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Sinn Féin welcomes ex-Primate comments on Environment

23 August, 2004

Sinn Féin Environmental Spokesperson, South Down MLA Willie Clarke has welcomed comments from the ex-primate Cahal Daly on the need to greater cross party alliances to address environmental issues.

Mr Clarke said:

"While many in Sinn Féin would disagree with many of Cahal Daly's interventions in the early stages of developing the Peace Process, I think that it is very positive to see him accept the logic of the need for greater cross party alliances on this island to address the very significant environmental challenges that lie ahead.

"Sinn Féin is actively seeking to engage with environmental organisations and activists from across the 32 counties. As the only all Ireland party we are ideally placed to put the case for these challenges to met on an all Ireland basis.

"The huge issues of how we meet targets for reducing waste, how we manage waste and how we deal with the issue of emission demand that we come up with all Ireland solutions. It is vital that not just Irish people rise to the challenge of tackling the big global environmental issues but that through the EU and internationally that environmental issues are seriously addressed.

"The neglect of environment is not acceptable. Both the Irish and British governments are guilty of neglecting their responsibilities under EU law in regards to implementing EU environment legislation on time.

"We should be both embarrassed and concerned that laws relating to water, waste, nature protection and environmental impact assessments had been the most neglected by member states, including our own. Neglect of the environment is unacceptable and both Irish Ministers and British NIO ministers have questions to answer regarding our non-compliance with vital legislation within the specified timeframe.

"In an era when the general public are rightly concerned about issues such as global warming, the governments have a duty of care to implement progressive environmental legislation both in Ireland and from the EU. This report will not instil confidence in the Irish public that this government are up to the challenge of protecting our environment." ENDS

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