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31 August 2000 Edition

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MacManus wants waste plan scrapped

The Mayor of Sligo, Sinn Féin Alderman Sean MacManus, has tabled a motion to Sligo County Council calling for their decision to adopt the Connaught Draft Waste Management Plan to be declared null and void. MacManus was speaking following revelations that a submission made by Earthwatch was never seen in its entirety by councillors before a vote was taken adopting the plan. Legal action is also being considered by a number of concerned individuals and parties.

According to MacManus, the 35-page submission by Earthwatch was reduced to a six-line synopsis of their original submission by the time it was circulated to councillors to study, which he said was ``outrageous and totally unacceptable''.

``Sligo County Council's initial decision to adopt the Waste Plan has opened the way for an incinerator to be possibly resited away from Galway, where it has been rejected, to here in County Sligo itself,'' said MacManus. ``A number of local authorities have already deferred decisions because of the growing and justifiable concerns over incineration. Sinn Féin has continually expressed these concerns and this has been reflected by the growing opposition to a network of incinerators throughout the length and breadth of the 26 Counties.

``In light of the withholding of vital information from councillors, it is obvious that the county council should rescind its earlier decision to adopt the Waste Plan and that the government should go back to the drawing board and redress this serious issue. Minister Dempsey should heed the words of the EU Director of Waste Management, Ludwig Kramer, who said at a conference in June of last year that `those countries that are in the process of drafting their planning should not base it upon incineration'.''

Road decision slammed

Sean MacManus has also slammed Environment minister Noel Dempsey over his decision to give the go-ahead for the construction of the controversial mid-block route through the heart of Sligo.

MacManus said the minister's decision to sanction construction of the road ``flies in the face of the democratic wishes of the elected members of Sligo Corporation. This route, which will tear the heart out of the centre of Sligo and will divide local communities, was rejected by Sligo Corporation in favour of a Western By-Pass following a proposal by Sinn Féin last year,'' said MacManus. ``For Minister Dempsey to override the democratic wishes and rights of the people of Sligo is disgraceful and incomprehensible.

``We have made clear all along that the mid-block route is not the solution to the traffic chaos in Sligo and will present far more problems for the people of Sligo than it will solve. Dempsey must explain on what grounds he rejected the common sense alternative route.''


Sligo mast opposed

Meanwhile, The Mayor of Sligo, Sinn Féin Alderman Sean MacManus, has slammed the latest proposals by Eircell to erect a mobile phone mast in Dromore West, in County Sligo. He also called on the government to place a ban on constructing these masts near where people live until a thorough and independent investigation has been carried out into the health and safety dangers posed by living or working close to these masts.

MacManus said: ``The health and safety of local communities must be put before the profits of these wealthy mobile phone companies and it is time that the government acted accordingly. Once again we see Eircell attempting to ride roughshod over a small community in County Sligo with no consideration being given to the rights and concerns of the people who will have to live with the consequences of this mast being imposed upon them. The people of Dromore West have made clear their total opposition to such unwanted masts in their midst and this must be respected and adhered to by Eircell and the planning authority.''

He added: ``At the end of July, Sligo Corporation, on foot of a Sinn Féin motion, called for the Government to place a ban on erecting any further masts in or near residential areas until a complete and independent investigation is held to investigate fully the dangers posed to health and safety by living or working close to these masts. I would now urge all public representatives throughout the region to publicly support this demand. In particular, there is an onus on Fianna Fail TDs, Senators and county councillors to exert pressure on the government to ensure that such a ban is introduced sooner rather than later. They must also ensure that government plans to increase the powers of the phone companies to compulsorily purchase land for their masts will be abandoned.''


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