FINGAL'S COUNTY manager has dismissed fears that the council has wasted €17m on the stalled project to build a massive waste incinerator at Poolbeg, claiming the project is 'still very much alive'.
Last week the Fingal Independent reported on an audit of the project which showed the huge amount of money already shelled out on the project despite its uncertain future and claims from its US partners that they are having difficult raising the necessary cash to build the incinerator. At last week's council budget meeting, the county manager, David O'Connor took on the issue and said that the question of the council 'squandering' money on the project 'does not arise'.
Prompted by a question on the issue from Cllr Tom O'Leary (FG), the county manager said the project was 'very much alive' and said that the investment made in it so far was 'entirely in order to get the project up and running'. Mr O'Connor admitted that the project had 'suffered delays' but the relationship between the private and public partners in the project 'continues'. He said that Dublin City Council was the lead local authority on the project which he described as an 'extraordinarily significant' piece of infrastructure.
The county manager said he had been 'assured' by Dublin city Council that the 'remaining issues' stalling the project would be resolved in the early part of the new year. He claimed that ultimately, any money invested in the project would be 'returned and then some' when the finished incinerator began to generate income by selling the energy it will create. Mr O'Connor said that Dublin City Council had to account for their own 'stewardship' of the project and that they planned to meet with the local government auditors who found fault with the financial management of the development.