Sunday, September 30, 2007

 

Don't forget your wellies...

I went along to the national Ploughing Championships in Tullamore on Wednesday. The one thing I was warned to do was to bring a pair of Wellingtons. The night before I put them at the front door, but what with the early start and all I completely missed them in the morning. I was going through Kentstown before I remembered them.

I got to the farm early enough and luckily the ground was nice and dry and I managed to find my way to the Labour Party marquee without getting too much muck on my shoes.

I spoke about rural transport, and how it leads to isolation for country dwellers. There were quite a few people coming and going, including Michael Ludlow and Marjan Boers from Meath Leader. I hadn't seen them since the last Meath Leader meeting I attended (I had to resign on becoming a Senator) so it was nice to bump into them. I also spoke to a few students who were there for the day. Whilst a few of them were in the tent to learn a bit about the political system, others were more interested in the free pens and the badges. Luckily we had lots with us.

I got back to Dublin in time for the start of the Seanad, where we discussed a Bill on Copyright issues. That evening I was elected as our party's Whip in the Seanad. After the election all six of us went out for a bite to eat.

In the Seanad on Thursday I spoke about the VHI Bill, asking Mary Harney a question on access to hospitals. I also spoke on the Are Lingus decision on Shannon airport. I heard later from my dad that RTE's Oireachtas Report covered a bit of my VHI contribution, which was a first.

I met with the anti-incineration lobby group on Friday to discuss recent developments. There is some cause for optimism about the proposed plant in Duleek, in that the proposal to put levies on incineration waste will mean that it is becoming more cost-effective to develop additional recycling facilities instead of incineration plants.

Comments:
The decision is due this week according to pleanala.ie, I cant really see it being rejected having been approved by the council twice and the board once. The huge community financial contribution is going to help improve the area, I think at the end of the day it uses high standards of technology and have to ask is it any different to the cement factory or other less talked about meat and bone meal incinerators or even living beside a motorway. I dont go in for the hype myself and can say I will not be concerned living near it. We also need the energy for homes and especially business which we are very short of currently. A little knowledge is a very dangerous thing so I wont enter any technical argument on the issue but I believe the EPA, Council and Board have a enough technical and scientific knowledge between them to make the right decision, sure isnt that what they are paid for.
 
I wish I could share your confidence about the potential impact. Also, my experience of decisions made by some of our paid officials is that often, for whatever reason, the right decision is not the one that's reached. Thanks for your comment. Dominic
 
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