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An Open Letter to the Minister For Justice: Michael Mc Dowell

Making the Strategic Infrastructure Bill an Election Issue. (Rossport and Poolbeg) -

10th November 2006
 
Dear Tanaiste and Minister for Justice,

It is manifestly clear to me as a constituent in the Rathmines area that your failure to grasp the issues of community opposition to the high pressure gas pipeline in Rossport, coupled with your failure to 'Watchdog this Corrupt Fianna Fail Administration' even as you climbed a lampost in Ranelagh, to underscore your desire to end corrupt practice is a sham performance.
We watch agog as the 'Triple arm of good Governance' is employed to put down
community protest whilst facilitating the Multi-nationals and the corrupt legislators.
A succession of Fianna Fail Ministers of the Environment have carried out a
continuous erosion of citizen and individual rights to affordable redress in relation
to fast-track and corrupt planning.

Today I listened to your good self on the lunchtime news attributing the blame
for the Rossport debacle this morning to a handful of thugs and Sinn Feiners, it
may have escaped your notice but five men went to prison for a number of months
for resisting the Gas pipeline's proximity to their homes and the failure of the dept
of the Marine and Natural Resources to take cognizance of their well-founded fears
or to dialogue on the issue of refining at Sea.

On the Sixteenth of June you presided over the Passage through the Dail of
the Strategic Infrastructure Bill which bill be 'amended on it's passage through the
Houses of the Oireachtas to include Gas pipelines' (Minister Roche's words).
On launching the bill Minister Roche also affirmed that SIB would not include
the Proposed incinerator at the Poolbeg Peninsula, which is located in the heartland
of your constituency. One can understand not wanting your power base eroded
by anything as nasty as an incinerator- yet people are criminalised for having the
self-same objections to a high pressure gas pipeline on the grounds of health
concerns (which is fair enough- I would have thought).Thus we have a minister
for Justice who lobbied against Mr Cullen's proposed CIB and lobbied for the
SIB-which divides ABP and envisages a restructuring of the Irish Judicial system
to fast-track the corporate lobby's planning applications, whilst concommitently
reducing the individuals right to a fair and affordable hearing in relation to planning
objections. It is highly disengenuous to blame a small group of people for thuggery
when in fact communities are aware and educated about how the current legislators
are ignoring and eroding their rights infavour of corporation such as Shell. It is also
disengenuous to ignore the imprisonment of the five men who have consistently objected
to the Pipeline and consistently called for the refinery to go to sea. There is a refusal
to recognise that sucessive Fianna Fail environmental ministers have drafted and
passed legisation which mitigates against rights to judicial process, Minister Roche
Contends that he will transpose elements of the Aarhus Convention into Irish law
but only for groups incepted for a period of twelve months and 'recognised' environmental
NGO's.One wonders if the present government actually reads the drafted legislation before
being called to vote on it.

I imagine the legal niceities of the SIB are well Known to you given your
strong lobby in favour of it and the exclusion of the Poolbeg project from the Body
of future SIB 'projects', which is why I think that the action groups and focus groups
in Ringsend, Merrion and Rathmines should be made aware of the civil repurcussions
of this legislation on their families. Thus we would not incur a repeat of Rossport in this
electoral constituency. I would suggest a review of Gardai procedure in Rossport
and a good sharp look at Minister Dempseys decisions in relation to the gas
pipeline (including his appointment of his own election agent as mediator, his obstruction
of the laffoy commissin and his appointment in office of family members to state bodies-
its all in the public domain).

In conclusion, the SIB was adapted to suit your powerbase but yet it mitigates against
a small and isolated community, thats some work.

Sincerely,
A constituent.

Posted Date: 
13 November 2006 - 4:58pm