Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin would pursue vigorous legal and diplomatic campaign to close Sellafield

19 May, 2007


Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has said that in government Sinn Féin would pursue a vigorous legal and diplomatic campaign to close the Sellafield nuclear plant in Britain. Cancer rates in Louth are running at an alarming rate - 20% above the state average. Deaths in the county from cancer are now running at 20%. We believe this is directly linked to the Sellafield nuclear reprocessing plant.

Deputy Morgan, the Party's Environment spokesperson, said that Sinn Fein had consistently said that the threat of a disaster resulting from a fire at Sellafield was a real and immediate danger and that the next Irish Government 'must make it clear to the British Government that nuclear reprocessing at Sellafield has to cease'.


Morgan also said that Sinn Féin would prioritise the resolution of the current water contamination crises on an urgent basis and adequately fund an All-Ireland Safe Water Strategy to bring all water supplies up to the highest EU standard.

Arthur Morgan said:

"Sinn Fein has long campaigned for the immediate closure of the Sellafield nuclear plant. We have consistently said that the threat of a disaster resulting from a fire at Sellafield was a real and immediate danger. Earlier this year I asked the Irish Government to investigate the links between a fire at the Sellafield 50 years ago and the increase in birth
defects in babies in the North East since then.


"Doctors based in County Louth have said that the number of births of children with Down Syndrome has increased four-fold in Dundalk in the last 35 years.


"A fire broke out in Sellafield that burned for three days in 1957. After that a cloud of smoke was believed to be the cause of an outbreak of illness among some of the pupils in St. Louis Girls' School, Dundalk. Dr. Patricia Sheehan found that there was a notably high rate of stillbirths, miscarriages, early childhood deaths, spina bifida and Down Syndrome in babies that were born to women who had been St. Louis' pupils in 1957. This fire was an official secret in Britain for 40 years.


"Ireland has the highest rate of Down Syndrome births in the world and Dundalk has emerged as a pocket where there is an abnormally high level compared to the national average.


"There is a clear onus on an Irish Government to investigate this. The next Irish Government must make it clear to the British Government that nuclear reprocessing at Sellafield has to cease. In government Sinn Féin would pursue a vigorous legal and diplomatic campaign to close the Sellafield nuclear plant.


"Sinn Féin will also oppose any attempts to exploit genuine concern over greenhouse gas emissions to introduce nuclear power plants to Ireland by the back door. The answer to carbon emissions, global warming and a looming energy crisis is not to turn to the equally destructive nuclear option but to invest in and support the development of sustainable, renewable energy sources such as wave and wind of which Ireland has huge untapped potential.

"Governments must also stop squandering our natural oil and gas resources by gifting them to foreign and private interests without any benefit to the Irish people.

"In government this party will pursue all-Ireland Environmental Protection and a waste management policy based on the realisable goal of having zero waste'


"We would prioritise the resolution of the current water contamination crises on an urgent basis and we will formulate and adequately fund an All-Ireland Safe Water Strategy that will bring all water supplies up to the highest EU standard following a comprehensive review of the existing regime." ENDS


Connect with Sinn Féin