8 Fianna Fail and Progressive Democrat members of Galway Corporation tonight have done a complete reversal of their decision of last summer - and have now adopted the Connacht Waste Management Plan. (The vote was 8-7 in favour of the plan). GSE have tonight said that local democracy has been attacked and undermined in Galway by the circumstances of this decision.
GSE Spokesman, Dr. Conchur O Bradaigh, said that "this incredible U-turn was taken under severe pressure from both the Minister for the Environment, Noel Dempsey, and the Minister for the Marine, Frank Fahey.
It represents a total betrayal of the people of Galway, 25,000 of whom lodged objections against this plan last summer". This issue will now become a major one in both Galway West and Galway East constituencies in the forthcoming General Election.
"The door is now open for a multinational waste incineration company to lodge a planning application for a 200,000 tonne waste incinerator in one of four sites in Galway City: Brockagh, Ardaun, Ballindooley and Galway Docks", said Dr. O'Bradaigh. A incinerator application has already been lodged in Meath, who passed a similar waste plan last year.
"The people of Galway are entitled to ask who these Councillors actually represent on Galway Corporation. Do they represent the people of Galway, or do they represent the Minister for the Environment and the Minister for the Marine (who sat in the public gallery throughout) ?"
"The passing of this plan will do nothing to solve the immediate waste crisis facing Galway City and County - though, no doubt a short-term solution will now be found by Minister Dempsey, now that he has achieved his objective in Galway City."
"We have said since last October that a waste crisis would be stage-managed to give political cover to Fianna Fail and the Progressive Democrats, to push through the waste plan in Galway City. This is what has now happened."

For the record, the Councillors who voted for incineration were:

Hanley (FF), Quinn (FF), O'hUiginn (FF), Leahy (FF), McDonnell (PD), O'Flaherty (PD), Colleran (PD), Lyons (PD) - Total of 8.

The councillors who voted against the plan were:
Cox (FF), McCormack (FG), Coogan (FG), Lupton (FG), Mulholland (FG), Connolly (Lab), Costello (Lab) - Total of 7.