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Councillor denies stealing credit for river power plan

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Dermot Looney

Dermot Looney

Dermot Looney

A DUBLIN councillor has rejected accusations that he wrongly claimed credit for a proposal to use the river Dodder to generate electricity.

Labour councillor Dermot Looney claimed last night that he is a victim of a personal attack after south Dublin residents accused him of stealing their idea to produce hydroelectricity.

Two residents publicly condemned the politician for "claiming credit" for a proposal they say has been consistently made for years.

ANNOYED

The row emerged after a local newspaper quoted Mr Looney as being supportive of the idea of using the Dodder to harness hydroelectricity.

But the councillor's comments annoyed some local residents, who claimed that he was taking credit for their original idea.

Former Firhouse Community Council chairman, Tom Fennelly, said that councillors like Mr Looney are jumping "on board" the proposal.

"I am more than a little annoyed to hear that an innovative idea has been thought up by some councillor to put waterwheels on the Dodder when, in fact, it was a project that was initiated between Tallaght and Firhouse Community Council years ago," he said.

Mr Looney described the row as a "storm in a teacup" and said that he was merely asking about the potential for harnessing electricity in south Dublin.

"All I did was ask a question at the Tallaght Area Committee meeting of South Dublin County Council about what plans the council had regarding sustainable energy," Mr Looney told the Herald.

POWERED

"An official gave me a reply mentioning the installation of a cycle pathway at the Dodder River Park and that the cyclepath would have lights which would be powered by small hydro-electric generators in the river.

"Since I was elected, I have always asked questions of the council about sustainable energy. I didn't do anything new."

IMAGES

The row comes just two weeks after Fine Gael TD Derek Keating was accused of claiming credit for the delivery of an extension at a school in Lucan.

The Dublin Mid West TD was criticised by the principal of Griffeen Valley Educate Together, Tomas O'Dulaing, after he claimed that he had "initiated and delivered" the extension.

Mr O'Dulaing said Mr Keating played no part in securing the extension – a claim the Fine Gael politician disputes.

The row was covered in the Lucan Gazette under the headline Principal Blasts Keating leaflet.

Mr Keating was then left red-faced when the Herald published CCTV images of his adviser, Tommy Morris, removing hundreds of copies of the paper in a local Centra shop.

A Garda investigation into Mr Morris's actions is ongoing.

hnews@herald.ie


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