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Sunday 29 January 2023 Dublin: 4°C
# Leaders' Questions
Phil Hogan 'has no role' in trying to stop €500m sewage plant
Enda Kenny says the decision to build a €500m sewage treatment plant in Clonshaugh lies with the local authorities.

TAOISEACH ENDA KENNY has said there is little point in opponents to a €500 million sewage treatment plant in North Dublin seeking a meeting with the Minister for the Environment – because he has no role in arranging its construction.

The Taoiseach said the decision to build the plant at Clonshaugh, near Dublin Airport, was entirely a matter for the local authorities in Dublin and that Hogan had no role or responsibility for the decision.

The only role that a Minister for the Environment may have, Kenny said, would be to ensure that there was enough capital funding for the construction to go ahead.

Fingal County Council yesterday revealed the Clonshaugh site as its preferred location for the sewage treatment site, which is to cater to up to 700,000 people living in the northern part of the capital city.

The plant’s outfall pipe will be located between Portmarnock and Baldoyle, around 32km away from the plant.

The plans, which have been condemned by local representatives, are now to go before the planning authorities.

In the Dáil this afternoon, Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin called on the government to honour a commitment made by Brendan Howlin in a Seanad debate in November 2011 when he agreed to investigate concerns about the ecological viability of constructing any such plant.

“12,000 people objecting is a serious number of people,” Martin said. “We live in a democracy – the very least the minister could do is meet them.”

Kenny, however, ruled out the prospect of interfering in a local authority’s own planning affairs.

“If the Minister for the Environment of the day put his or her foot in this space, the wrong perception would certainly be given,” Kenny said. “The reason we have a statutory progress through the local authority is that there be no interference with the plan in process.”

The Taoiseach meanwhile told Sinn Féin’s Mary Lou McDonald that the report of Justice John Quirke on a possible mediation and redress system for the survivors of the Magdalene Laundries would be brought to cabinet in the next fortnight.

Read: Opponents say plans for ‘monster’ sewage plant are “outrageous”