Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Michael Moynihan has reacted with disbelief to the news that the Government has had to commission research to understand why people are against the construction of pylons and wind farms beside their homes. Minister Rabbitte has asked officials from his Department and other Government agencies to establish why there has been a lack of “social acceptance and community engagement in infrastructure projects.”
Deputy Moynihan stated: “It shows how disconnected, how arrogant and distant from reality this Government has become when it has to rely on Department officials’ research to understand the concerns of ordinary people in our country. Fianna Fáil has been calling on the Government to change its approach to large infrastructure projects including pylons and wind turbines for months. All we have gotten in response has been sneering and laughter from the Government benches who didn’t take community concerns seriously.”
“It appears the Government has only now woken up to those concerns as a result of falling support and increased community anger at the dismissive attitude of state agencies to people who have genuine concerns about these projects. The Minister has engaged in a cynical political game here whereby important decisions surrounding these infrastructure projects will not be taken until after the local and European elections. If the Minister really wanted to understand communities concerns on these matters, he should leave his Ministerial office in Dublin, meet with these communities and listen to their concerns” Deputy Moynihan said.
“This Government has shown that it has a huge appetite for engaging expensive consultants whenever it wants to understand the communities its supposed to represent. The spin over substance approach to politics is beginning to be seen for what it is”, Deputy Moynihan concluded.