Tuesday, 11 June 2019
An tOrd Gnó - Order of Business
I join others in congratulating Deputies Clare Daly, Fitzgerald, Kelleher and Wallace on their election to the European Parliament.
I return to the matter raised earlier of the ban on smoky coal because I am really concerned about the answer the Taoiseach gave to the House. I will not rehearse again the impact on my constituency of Wexford, particularly the town of Enniscorthy, of particulate matter, which is extraordinarily damaging to people's health. Also, those industries that invested in good faith to produce smokeless fuel are now at an enormous disadvantage. If there is any suing to be done, it is probably those industries that would feel aggrieved by a stated State policy to ban smoky coal that is now not being acted on. I see the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment is preparing to answer this. When Wexford County Council asked that the ban be extended to Enniscorthy, the Taoiseach said the council should do it itself, so the State is not willing to take on this industry and is asking a local authority to do so. Is that the Government's answer to this matter? Surely not.