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Minister for Environment accused of 'spouting complete and utter nonsense'

4 January, 2005

Sinn Féin TD for Louth and Sinn Féin spokesperson for Trade and Enterprise as well as Environment, Arthur Morgan, has accused the Minister for the Environment, Dick Roche of "spouting complete and utter nonsense". Deputy Morgan was responding to criticism from the Minster of Sinn Féin's position in relation to the proposal to change the retail and planning guidelines, which would allow for Swedish furniture giant IKEA to open an massive retail/warehouse in north Dublin.

Deputy Morgan said, "Dick Roche is spouting complete and utter nonsense. Lets be very clear, Sinn Féin is not opposed to IKEA per se. If they stick to within the current retail and planning guidelines then they would be a very welcome addition to the Irish market in terms of furniture retail. However, Sinn Féin is opposed to their bullying and to the craven attitude it has fostered within the Government.

"What Ballymun needs is not one giant superstore, offering minimum wage retail jobs, but rather an integrated government backed and supported employment drive to bring a diverse range of businesses and industries to the Ballymun area. IKEA could be part of it if they wish, once they stick to within the current sensible guidelines.

"The Minister should stop deluding himself when he says that this isn't about IKEA. This is specifically about IKEA and not so-called 'consumer rights'. IKEA is the only reason changes are being considered to current laws.

"The retail and planning guidelines were brought in to serve a specific purpose and they have done that well to date. Both indigenous and international companies have benefited from them ? and in fact so too have consumers by the provision of a more diverse range of companies operating. With one giant superstore operating on the main Dublin commuter belt it is obvious smaller retailers will go to the wall, as has been the international experience, and instead of new jobs being created you will just have a migration of labour within the Dublin region. Dick Roche's arguments are nonsensical and just don't stand up to scrutiny." ENDS

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