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Where in the world is Noel Dempsey?

8 January, 2010 - by Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin TD

Sinn Féin Dáil leader Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin has called on Taoiseach Brian Cowen to instruct Transport Minister Noel Dempsey to return from his holidays immediately to help deal with the crisis on our roads caused by the adverse weather conditions.

Deputy Ó Caoláin also questioned why the Government is not using sand to grit the roads in the absence of salt.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Caoláin said, “While the country slowly comes to a standstill nobody seems to know where in the world our Minister for Transport is. This is an indictment of this Government and Brian Cowen needs to act. He needs to instruct Noel Dempsey to return from his holidays immediately to help deal with what is quickly becoming a national emergency.

“The Government has repeatedly cited the shortage of salt, however, experience in other countries shows that sand on its own can be used very effectively to provide surface traction on roads.

“In Ontario for example, which deals with significantly greater snow and ice for more protracted periods over a significantly greater road area, best practice is to use salt early in a storm to melt ice, and thereafter to use sand to provide increased traction. Therefore, sand could and should be used to improve the current road conditions.

“We have had no adequate explanation as to why this is not being more widely used. That this is even a matter of debate at this stage points up the lateness of the government response.” ENDS

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