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Morgan exposes Fine Gael hypocrisy on incineration

4 July, 2007

Sinn Féin Environment Spokesperson Arthur Morgan TD has said in their haste to highlight the Green Party's u-turn in their policy on incineration Fine Gael have exposed their own hypocrisy on the issue. Speaking in the Dáil this evening Deputy Morgan commended the Fine Gael motion opposing incineration to the house but said Fine Gael speaks out of both sides of its mouth on the issue.

Deputy Morgan said, "I would like to commend this motion and Fine Gael for providing me with a chance to expose their glaring hypocrisy when it comes to incineration. Fine Gael supported EU attempts to re-categorise incinerators as waste recovery from disposal, which if had been successful, would have presented big business with an environmental stamp of approval to roll out incinerators throughout Ireland and Europe. Fine Gael speaks from both sides of its mouth on this issue, saying one thing opposing incineration in Dublin and Louth and another supporting the incineration industry in Brussels and Strasbourg. Their duplicity was epitomised by their MEPs who voted in support of the incinerator proposal.

"The proposed Poolbeg incinerator would require a constant flow of large volumes of waste to be commercially viable. Incinerator companies want people to create as much waste as possible. Incineration is no more than a by-product of hyper-consumerism which the planet can no longer accommodate. The government must be pro-active in tackling the route cause of our waste problem instead of pushing potentially lethal fixes as 'solutions'. If back garden burning is deadly then why does this government wish to promote mass incineration on a wider scale as an alternative?

"Incineration is a poisonous and costly process and is an unnecessary and deadly form of waste disposal. The priority should be about reducing waste instead of facilitating capitalist interests to amass profits at society's expense.

"There is clear public anger at the proposed construction of the Poolbeg incinerator. Fianna Fáil are attempting to push this unpopular project through just as they have run roughshod over communities in Mayo where they are facilitating Shell with the plunder and rape of Ireland's natural resources. If this incinerator goes ahead it will have wider implications for other campaigns against incinerators such as in Carronstown in my own constituency. Sinn Féin Councillors supported the rezoning of Poolbeg Peninsula to exclude an incinerator. However the contentious Protection of the Environment Bill 2002 allows incineration to be imposed by the City or County manager. This is no more than a destruction of local democracy by vesting this power with unelected individuals.

"Those involved in the long campaign against incinerators had hoped that a change in government and in particular a Green Minister would bring about a change of policy. The Green Party must clearly and unequivocally publicly state that they will stop this incinerator going ahead. If the new Minister for the Environment John Gormley cannot make such a statement then he must seriously consider why he is in government." ENDS

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