5 April 2001 Edition
Morgan halts `test' incinerator
Driving down a local laneway on Saturday morning at Rampark, near Jenkinstown, County Louth, where tragically all the livestock have been culled, Sinn Féin Councillor Arthur Morgan saw belching black smoke, investigated, and found it to be a `portable incinerator'.
Arthur, a prominent member of the campaign to stop Minister Noel Dempsey foisting incinerators on the North Eastern Region, was horrified. He blocked the laneway with his car to stop further incineration and immediately instituted enquiries.
It emerged that Louth County Council had allowed the use of the incinerator ``as a test'', though a distraught local resident said although they had been promised notification of any burning, they had received no such advice about use. Local farmers reported that the incinerator, about the size of a 40-foot container, with an open top, had been belching black smoke for a large part of Friday evening.
Following Arthur Morgan's protest to the council, further incineration was stopped and on Tuesday, 3 April, Morgan wrote to the County Secretary to demand that this `equipment' be removed.
``It is terrible to think that amidst all that is going on, with people losing their animals in the cull, that the council would have taken advantage of this situation to pull such a stroke over the people,'' said Morgan.
SF opposes Dempsey invitation
Sinn Féin members of Monaghan County Council have opposed the invitation to Environment and Local Government Minister Noel Dempsey to officially open a new recycling facility for the county. The six-strong Sinn Féin group said it was totally inappropriate to invite the minister after his decision to take power on waste management away from elected councillors.
At Monaghan County Council on Monday Sinn Féin TD and County Councillor Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin said that the minister should not be invited as his Waste Management (Amendment) Bill 2001 will remove from local authorities the power to make waste management plans. This power is to be placed in the hands of city and county managers so that harmful waste incinerators can be imposed on local communities.
Sinn Féin Councillor Jackie Crowe said that the Minister's actions were totally undemocratic and it would be flying in the face of democracy to have the Minister there to open the facility at Scotch Corner.
When the matter came to a vote the Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael members combined to approve the invitation to the Minister, with the six Sinn Féin members voting against.
County Councillor Cathaoirleach Brian McKenna said that he would reserve his position as to whether he would attend the opening by the minister.