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.
They had a legal team to beat the band surrounding them, the members of which were basically threatening members and warning them to be careful of what they said… I suggest that the joint committee reply in the strongest possible terms and if CRH, which is a major international company with a reputation about which it is very sensitive, refuses to come before it, we should seek statutory powers to bring its personnel before the committee if they will not appear voluntarily.
I also put some questions about CRH to the Wicklow County Manager: Is the relationship between Wicklow County Council and Cement Roadstone Holdings good, close, combative or robust? Deputy Cuffe touched on this issue when he asked whether the company sponsored any council activities. I ask the question because my experience of CRH is that the company is, to say the least, a robust, tough and energetic lobbyist. When I was a member of Wicklow County Council, CRH was very enthusiastic about lobbying councillors on various quarries and permissions and would go to great lengths to ensure it got its way on them.