Dear Democratically Elected
Representative for Galway,
With due regard for the fact that
President Mary McAleese, the present
GUARDIAN of our Constitution, may
(if she so chooses) soon be returned UNOPPOSED to
Aras an Uachtarain, it would be very much
appreciated if you could please take careful note of the
contents of the e-mail below: which was sent last Saturday to
Norton in connection with the Review of the Connaught
Regional Waste Management Plan.
Please note that the Galway
County Council list of addresses used for
this e-mail has been taken from
the following Internet page location:
and, that the list on
this page does not contain any e-mail information for many (possibly all)
of the Galway County Councillors who were elected for the first
time last June. Consequently, I would be very grateful if you
could try to take steps to ensure that ALL of
my Local Government representatives are made aware of the contents
of the e-mail below to Mr Norton please.
Finally, I wish to state that I
would very much welcome any comments which anyone might wish to make
to me regarding the EXTREMELY serious social matters raised in
the e-mail below.
Mr William Finnerty.
----- Original Message -----
Sent: Saturday, September 04, 2004 11:22 AM
Subject: Review of Connaught Regional Waste Management
Dear Mr Norton,
I am writing to you in response to
information circulated recently by Galway City
Councillor Niall O'Brolchain.
It is my understanding that a
review of the Connaught Regional Waste Management
Plan is to take place shortly, and that members
of the public have been invited to submit their views to you on the
matter before September 7th 2004.
According to information available
to me, which can be viewed at Internet address
Galway County Council (i.e. Local Government) has
TWICE rejected the Connaught Waste Management Plan;
and, on both occasions, the decisions taken were arrived at
Following the above mentioned decisions, and through the use of
what I (and other local people) regard as
LEGISLATION, the Government then
altered parts of the Waste Management
Act so that decision making powers regarding the location
and use of superdumps and
incinerators were removed from the democratically
elected local government representatives, and placed instead in the
hands of non-elected County Council managers.
It appears to me that the legislation which has been
generated to bring about the above mentioned shift in
power represents a straightforward, and totally unacceptable,
violation of Article 28A of the
Constitution, or "Bunreacht" (i.e.
the "Primary Law"), of the Republic of
Ireland - part of which (Item 1), reads as
"The State recognises the role of local
government in providing a forum for the democratic representation of
local communities, in exercising and performing at local level
powers and functions conferred by law and in promoting by its
initiatives the interests of such communities."
Please note that one of the local residents where I
live, law student Ms Ann Marie Kelly, is at
the present time preparing to have the constitutionality of the
Waste Management Act alterations referred to above challenged in the
High Court. As you may already know, our particular part of
East Galway is now threatened with
TWO huge superdumps (separated by a distance of
just a few miles): one in New Inn, and one in
Kilconnell; and, that BOTH of the locations chosen
have been repeatedly rejected by our democratically
elected local government representatives - on the grounds that
the locations in question are totally unsuitable,
partly because of the numbers of people living very close to
each of the 2 sites involved.
With further reference to the Connaught Regional Waste
Management Plan, there also appears to be a second very
important (and very relevant) Constitutional
issue connected with the Aarhus Convention
, which the Republic of Ireland signed on
June 25th 1998
. According to Article
(Section 5, Point 1) of the Constitution of the Republic
of Ireland: "Every international agreement to which the
State becomes a party shall be laid before Dail
. In so far as I can establish, and with due
regard for the fact that well over SIX YEARS have now passed,
the matter of the State signing the Aarhus Convention Agreement
been laid before Dail Eireann (the
Republic of Ireland Parliament). As can be seen at Internet
this matter was brought to the attention of
Environment Minister Martin Cullen T.D. on
June 25th 2004.
It would be much appreciated if you could please ensure
that all those connected with the Review of the Connaught Regional Waste Management Plan are
made aware of the contents of this letter.
Later today I will also send a printed
(and signed) copy of this e-mail to you through the registered
post, which I will address as follows: Mr Ray Norton, Director of
Services, Mayo County Council,
Aras an Chontae, The Mall, Castlebar, County
Mr William Finnerty.
Republic of Ireland.