A smell can be a nasty thing but as Environment Minister John Gormley has proven, a smell can be bloody expensive too.
Over the weekend, homes across his own constituency of Dublin South East were targeted by a leaflet drop by the Green Minister saying how he is to spend €35m getting rid of the stink that is coming from the nearby Sewage Treatment plant in the area.
The money is being made available to Dublin City Council to attack the cause of the foul smell that has been getting up the noses of local constituents for some time.
And the work by Dublin City Council should be done by the end of this month, bringing in a fragrant new aroma for the New Year.
It is about time that something was done about the stink emanating from the Sewage Treatment Plant but €35m seems like an awful lot of money just to clear the air.
One opposition TD in the constituency, Labour's Ruairi Quinn, said that if Minister Gormley can spend €35m 'on a stink', he can surely afford to spend €1m on funding a Judicial Review so that members of the local community can challenge the construction of an incinerator in court.
"Minister Gormley has so far refused to do that," he said.
The Green Minister has come under increasing pressure since the green light was given for the construction of the incinerator at Poolbeg.
He had campaigned against it in the run-up to the 2007 general election and had objected to the incinerator being sited there.
However, on becoming Minister for the Environment following the general election, he claimed he was precluded from getting involved in any planning issues.
Maybe if there is some change left out of the €35m ‘stink money’, it could be put to good use to fulfilling the promise Gormley made before the election – dealing with the incinerator for once and for all.
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