Fianna Fáil has rubbished claims from Taoiseach that the Environment Minister Phil Hogan has ‘no role’ in the development of the country’s largest ever sewage treatment plant in north Dublin.
Dublin Senator Darragh O’Brien has hit out at the outrageous attempt by the Taoiseach to shirk responsibility for a major project that his government is funding.
“In reply to questions from our Party Leader Micheál Martin in the Dáil today, the Taoiseach said there is no point in Minister Hogan meeting with north Dublin residents as the Minister has ‘no role’ in this development. In the same breath, he confirmed that it is Minister Hogan’s department that is funding the massive development.
“The government cannot have it both ways. Minister Hogan holds the purse strings and it is within his gift to stop funding and put this development on hold. At the very least, he should do this until a full analysis of the project has been carried out and he has taken the time to listen to the very real concerns of local residents and campaign groups.
“The Taoiseach, amazingly, also refused to commit to a cost benefit analysis and impact assessment of the €1 Billion project, as promised to me by Minister Brendan Howlin in Seanad Éireann in November 2011. It is unacceptable that the Minister has broken this promise to north Dublin residents, and that Labour and Fine Gael are now attempting to shrug off all responsibility in an attempt to save their own skins in the affected constituencies.
“This development could have disastrous consequences not just for Clonshaugh, Baldoyle and Portmornock, but also for the entire north Dublin and Dublin bay area. Minister Hogan’s department has already spent €18 million on the design and planning of the facility and the estimated final bill is expected to reach €1 billion, including the construction of 26 kilometres of an orbital sewer.
“The fact is that a Fine Gael and Labour council approved a project now being funded by a Fine Gael and Labour government. In doing so, they are giving their backing to an ill-conceived and poorly executed plan that will adversely impact on the quality of life of many thousands of people.”