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Minister indicates conflict of interest in incinerator proposal -Brian Stanley TD

17 September, 2014 - by Brian Stanley TD

The Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Environment, Brian Stanley TD, has claimed that Minister Alan Kelly indicated that there was a conflict of interest involving the Deputy Chairperson of An Bórd Pleanála in relation to the proposed incinerator at Poolbeg. Deputy Stanley was responding to a reply from the Minister in the Dáil regarding the involvement of Conal Boland in the approval of the project on which he had previously worked as an engineer with RPS consultants.

Deputy Stanley said: “In response to my question as to whether the Minister believed that there was any conflict of interest involved in the approval of the incinerator, Minister Kelly read sections of the Code of Conduct for Bórd Pleanála members into the record.

“Section 15.2 explicitly states that: A member or other person referred to in 15.1 shall not deal with any case in any capacity on behalf of the Board where she/he previously had any involvement at any time in the matter, either on a personal basis or on behalf of a previous employer or as a member of any other organisation or voluntary body.

“15.4 further states that: A member or other person referred to at 15.1 shall not knowingly deal with a file relating to a planning authority or a private practice where he/she was previously employed during the previous 2 year period or any voluntary or professional organisation of which the person is or was a member during the previous 2 year period.

“It is quite apparent therefore that there was a key conflict of interest between Mr. Boland’s involvement with RPS which recommended that Dublin City Council, against the wishes of the majority of elected members, go ahead with the proposal to build an incinerator at Poolbeg.

“The incinerator is once again a live issue that may well come before An Bórd Pleanála at a future date. Not only that but Mr. Boland was appointed Deputy Chairperson of the Board by Minister Kelly’s predecessor Phil Hogan. In that capacity he has again approved a number of controversial proposals in which RPS were involved. One of these proposals is a wind farm at Cullenagh and Timahoe in County Laois, which the Board’s own inspector recommended be rejected. I am writing to the Minister detailing these concerns.”

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