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17 November 2006
Bord Pleanála appointee must have no role in Poolbeg incinerator decision – Gormley
Roche's appointment creates potential for serious conflict of interest

Green Party Chairman and TD for Dublin South East John Gormley, has pointed out the potential for a serious conflict of interest created by Minister Dick Roche's latest appointments to An Bord Pleanála. Minister Roche has appointed Conall Boland, of RPS Ireland, a company which has worked extensively with Dublin City Council on the plans for an incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin Bay.

"The proposed incinerator at Poolbeg is one of the most important cases currently before An Bord Pleanála," said Deputy Gormley. "Up to 3,000 submissions have been received from members of the public. The fact that the Minister would, at this stage, appoint somebody connected with the project to the Board is deeply worrying. Even more worrying is the fact that Mr Boland seems to have been responsible for the most recent review of the Dublin Regional Waste Management Plan, which is the main policy justification for the incinerator project.

"In my submission to the Board on the incinerator, I devote a good deal of space to arguing that the current waste management plan is flawed, and should be set aside by the Board. It now seems that the person responsible for the most recent version of this plan will be one of those considering my submission. This would give rise to a clear conflict of interest, and Minister Roche must make it clear that Mr Boland will not take part in consideration of this case.

"Minister Roche and his Government have already stacked the cards heavily in favour of the proposed incinerator, by introducing legislation which bypasses democracy at a local level. It is worth remembering that the current waste management plan for the Dublin region has no democratic mandate, following the Government's removal of the powers of local elected representatives to vary such plans.

"Although I don't approve of the outcome of his review of the Dublin waste management plan, I don't doubt that Mr Boland is a very competent and expert professional in his field. However, the Minister has put him in a very uncomfortable position and should clarify the situation without delay," concluded Deputy Gormley.

[ENDS]

Information:
John Gormley TD: 087 275 6135

     

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