Wednesday 17 January 2018

Minister for time-wasting

DUBLIN City Council appears to have all but won its battle with Environment Minister John Gormley over the construction of the Poolbeg incinerator. In order to do so, it has had to struggle for years and enlist unusual allies.

The saga is very much of the 'it could only happen in Ireland' variety. As with so many other fields of human endeavour, there is a waste crisis in this country and especially in the capital. We have quite simply run out of landfill sites. We have witnessed something comical as well as humiliating, waste sent to Northern Ireland and back again.

At all times the obvious answer was to build the Poolbeg incinerator. But the Green Party dislikes incineration, and its leader sits in the Dail for Dublin South East, the constituency that contains the site. Since he became Environment Minister three years ago, he has blocked the project. Among his tactics was the refusal to approve a "foreshore licence". Now at last the city council appears to have broken the deadlock by issuing a compulsory purchase order to buy 2.5 acres of land (mostly state-owned) on the site.

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