Thursday, 28 November 2019
Ceisteanna ar Reachtaíocht a Gealladh - Questions on Promised Legislation
I do not know whether the Minister got a chance to see the "RTÉ Investigates" programme about illegal quarrying in Ireland, which was broadcast last night. It gave a devastating account of a range of quarries where massive works were being carried out, which were damaging ecosystems and rivers. They were without any planning permission or were using the High Court system to prevent local authorities from doing their job. What we saw was a defiance of planning law and highlighted our feeble regulations. Some local authorities appeared to be buying materials from illegal operators. Everybody knows that quarrying is an essential part of the construction industry, which is an indigenous industry, but it has to be carried out legally. Last night's programme was an appalling indictment of what has been happening across the country. Will the Minister introduce, if necessary, new legislation and regulations? Will he ensure that local authorities do their job?