Shane Ross


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    Archive for the ‘Environment’ Category

    Jack is Right – Greyhound’s Gone to the Dogs

    There is something iffy about the Isle of Man. No doubt it is a place that offers good food and beautiful beaches, tranquillity, motorcycles and museums. The Isle is a hotspot for tourists and a welcoming residence for the idle rich. Older people, perfectly-legally, retire there to take advantage of the benign tax regime. But when you hear that shareholders in a business have decided to relocate their holdings to this tax haven, you are entitled to wonder – why do they do it?

    Leinster House Shouldn’t Be Surrounded By Concrete And Cars

    Leinster Lawn was once a lovely park, a green space, which was made into a car park some years ago. This was supposed to be a temporary arrangement until a long term solution could be found. However it remains a car park to this day, and it is us Members of the Oireachtas who are to blame for failing to restore Leinster Lawn to its former glory. Here’s what I told the Seanad:


    Trinity Seanad Election 2007: With Friends Like These?

    “Time to get yourself re-elected to the Seanad,” says she. “Target a section of the TCD constituency and go for it.” “Where shall I start?” I ask. “All the lefties and bearded trade unionists cross the street to avoid me. I seem to have offended them.”

    “You should have thought of that before you went seeking their votes,” says she. “Well, at least the business crew will back you.” “They will be a doddle,” I reply unconvincingly, pointing out that many Trinity College graduates have risen to the top of Irish business.


    Climate Change – A Vital Issue of Our Time

    Climate Change and the Environment will of course be important issues in the coming weeks of the election campaign. To ensure it stays at the top of the agenda when the election is over, I have placed a motion for debate it in the Seanad on the subject for when the new Oireachtas meets. The motion I put down is as follows:

    Government Must not Roll Over on Issue of Sellafield

    The British Prime Minister made a speech on nuclear waste and nuclear energy last night. In the height of arrogance in dealing with the Irish republic, he decided to approve another generation of nuclear plants in the United Kingdom. This morning the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, Deputy Roche, made the same noises I have heard for the past ten to 15 years about protesting about Sellafield and taking a case to the European court of this and that. (more…)

    Opposition to the Nitrates Directive is Opportunistic and Sacrifices Public Health Concerns

    The nitrates directive was first meant to come into force in 1991. It amazes me that it did not come into force much earlier and that successive Governments have resisted its implementation for so long. The Minister should be commended for hastening this in his early days in office, and the directive should have been implemented a long time ago.

    It is not particularly easy for a Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to put such a directive in place because he is quite certain, particularly given the constituency he represents, to meet the sort of resistance which we are coming across in the House today. That resistance is purely opportunistic and panders to the farming lobby at the expense of the rest of us. (more…)

    Stop Salmon Driftnetting!

    In a Seanad debate on salmon driftnetting, I called on Minster of State Pat the Cope Gallagher to stop protecting vested interests, in order to help tourism, anglers – and the salmon:

    What is happening in this debate is very simple. We are seeing a very obvious problem, which has been emerging over a period of time and which it is patently obvious has damaged the national interest, being defended by vested interests – I include political vested interests in that statement. That is healthy. It is something on which politics is often debated and I do not see anything wrong with it provided we know what it is. (more…)

    CRH has Bullied its Way Through the Irish Corporate and Political Worlds

    This company has bullied its way through the Irish corporate and political world for a long period. It has been well documented that it appears to regard its quasi-monopolistic status as placing it above the law.

    Roadstone Dubline Ltd declined to attend the meeting of the Environment Committee to discuss illegal dumping.

    It is obvious that CRH is avoiding accountability for its deeply culpable behaviour. I was present when CRH personnel appeared before the joint committee in February 2003 – they might as well not have bothered their barney because they made a great virtue of being present but continually refused to answer questions on the grounds of an ongoing investigation. (more…)

    EPA Stands up to Cement Roadstone

    The Environmental Protection Agency has provisionally refused permission for Cement Roadstone Holdings to build a landfill to store the illegal waste found on their land in Co Wicklow. Speaking at the Joint Oireachtas Committee on the Environment, I congratulated the EPA and urged them to impose the best solution to protect the environment and water quality. Below are some questions I put to the EPA Director General, as well as her responses: (more…)

    We have Behaved Appallingly in Allowing Drift Net Fishing to Continue

    I have come across an extraordinary number of people who are concerned about this although I represent a constituency which is not near the sea, the sea fishing community or any vested interest group. However, I have been lobbied by many people; anglers, hoteliers and others in the tourism industry who say that what the Government is doing in allowing excessive drift netting of wild salmon is killing the tourism industry in certain areas and is also building up serious trouble for future generations. (more…)