Monday, April 02, 2007


Taking care of the Environment

Ireland’s future is our young people and this week I was again privileged to be asked to address a class in Ashbourne Community School on Environmental Issues. The class has to do a practical project in the Ashbourne Area about the environment and I was asked to give an overview of the local issues as I see them.

We discussed

1 The lack of litter bins in the area
2 The inadequate recycling facilities
3 Pollution of the Broadmeadow river
4 Impact of the growth in population Ashbourne on the environment

The students were very enthusiastic, and we came up with some ideas for how they might tackle problems, including lobbying the county council, councillors and TDs, issuing a press release about their campaign and distributing a newsletter to increase awareness of the problems.

Their project is ongoing, and I hope to keep in touch with them on it.

I’m also supporting the campaign to hold the forthcoming general election at the weekend. I think this makes it fairer for students and workers to get the time to vote. I know that rumours abound mentioning a poll on a Thursday. My hope is that Bertie will see the sense in a weekend poll.

I was at a meeting in Inse Bay during the week to discuss the commencement of new parking spaces on some of the greens. The spaces were not part of the original application for the 50 houses, but Woodgreen proposed some more parking at the “further information” stage. Some residents were unaware of the parking proposal, so the commencement of them was a nasty surprise.

Inse Bay
Woodgreen commence the construction of new parking spaces in Inse Bay

I’m asking any resident to contact me if they see any evidence of unsafe methods of construction, or if they think the builders are not complying with the planning conditions to the letter.

The Jodi Factory in Duleek is the site of the new Credit Union facility. The old factory is currently being demolished and that involves the removal of some asbestos.

Basically, to remove asbestos, you have to prepare a method statement for its removal, which includes things like the form of removal, protective clothing, transport from site and the name of the licensed landfill facility it’s going to.

I got a call to go and investigate whether the asbestos was being removed illegally. I visited the site, where nothing was happening (although I could make out some roof tiles still in place) and I went down to the Area Administrator and engineer to discuss the situation. The engineer had already been on to the issue and was satisfied that everything was being done correctly. I also rang the Health & Safety Authority (HSA) and they confirmed that they were doing an inspection of the site. LMFM rang me up and asked me to go on Michael Reade's show with Deputy McEntee. I agreed and we did an interview on the subject, basically trying to allay any concerns about due process being followed. Certainly from what I’ve been able to establish all is well with the removal of the asbestos.

The new Credit Union facility will be great for the village and surrounding area and the sooner it comes about the better.

The Irish National Teachers Association held a further meeting in the Boyne Valley Hotel about class sizes. I reckon there were about four hundred people. I was talking to lots of teachers and parents from the East Meath area. What with population growth and poor educational planning, class sizes are amongst the highest in East Meath. That’s something we all are committed to fight.

Census results show 24% growth in Meath East population

Finally - some positive news about the proposed Incinerator. It looks like they might just go away. Better recycling facilities - that's the key!

Dominic, the campaigners against the incinerator in Duleek and beyond deserve a lot of credit for keeping up the campaign. However I think you too deserve some credit for working away on the issue since you were elected.
I liked your €2 bus fare proposal.
I liked your comparison with Happy Meals!
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