Shane Ross

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Sellafield a Blot on Anglo-Irish Relations

Posted on: May 17th, 2005

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. The British are laughing at us on this issue and the Government seems to have decided nothing can be done. Ireland has a vital interest in the dangers of waste in the Irish Sea and a possible serious explosion.

Can the Leader ask the Minister for Foreign Affairs to attend this House to explain why he has not called in the British ambassador and made a formal protest, pointing out that this is not the action of a nation that is, in other areas, a friendly nation? Sellafield poses a serious danger and if production of nuclear power increases we are in greater danger. I am worried by the placid and calm response. The British Government has worn us down and won the battle. Irish Governments are lying down and taking it. We should issue a formal, serious protest.