Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Scathing indictment of Government over illegal dumping

26 April, 2005

Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today said that the Government's neglect of EU Environmental laws is "systematic and a reflection on the Government's lack of commitment to waste dumping".

Ms McDonald made her comments after the EU Court of Justice ruled that the 26 County state was in consistent breach of environmental legislation on illegal dumping.

Speaking whilst canvassing for the Westminster Elections in Belfast Ms McDonald said:

"The EU Court of Justice's ruling today should be extremely embarrassing for this government. However history tells us that this government will ignore this ruling, in the same manner as they have ignored previous EU warnings.

"Government neglect is not new. A survey looking at environmental law in 2003 found that throughout the old 15 member states, there were 88 separate occasions when EU environment legislation was not implemented in national law within the specified timeframe. Ireland was amongst the worst offenders.

"The issue of illegal dumping has been raised by Sinn Féin on numerous occasions. We have raised the issue of illegal dumping of waste from the South in the 6 counties which is a major problem in the border counties.

"This Government has no commitment to ensuring environmental sustainability. This is not just a matter of ignoring EU directives, rather the entire ethos underlying the Government's waste management strategy is mis-directed. It is focused on disposal and incineration of waste as opposed to treating waste as a resource which must be recycled and re-used and only disposed of as a last option." ENDS

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