FF TD ‘alarmed’ at An Taisce ‘roadblocks’ to Lough Ree

A Fianna Fáil TD has expressed “alarm” at the objection by An Taisce to the revised licence that would allow Lough Ree Power Station in Lanesboro, Co. Longford, to continue operating.

Eugene Murphy, a TD for Roscommon-Galway, hit out at the environmental lobby group for its objection to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) licence, calling it “very negative news”.

The plant has been closed for two months after the EPA found fault with how warm water was being discharged from the plant. The new licence contained conditions that would have required the plant to address this issue if it restarted operations.

We were all hopeful that a new EPA licence application would solve the issue, but now An Taisce has thrown a spanner in the works by objecting to this proposed licence determination.

“It is very negative news and I am alarmed to see that Ian Lumley [advocacy officer] from An Taisce appears to be putting roadblocks in the way of getting the power station up and running again,” said Murphy.

The TD said it was “totally unacceptable” that over 100 Bord na Móna and ESB workers were “now left hanging in limbo”.

“Where does Ian Lumley expect the people affected to find work?” Murphy asked.

Has An Taisce no regard or respect for the determination or findings of the Environmental Protection Agency?

Murphy concluded his remarks by saying: “I am very concerned to think that An Taisce could now cause further delays to the vital re-opening of the power station in Lanesboro as it is a crucial economic lifeline to the people of the region.”

‘Constant stream of objections’

Murphy is not the only TD who has hit out at An Taisce.

Yesterday, Wednesday, August 14, independent TD Michael Fitzmaurice called for Government funding for environmental lobby groups to be cut if “the constant stream of objections to proposals continues”.

“It seems as if any proposal put forward at the moment will be rejected out of hand by environmental lobby groups. If they refuse to come down from their high horse and continue to submit objection after objection to valid proposals, then I think it is time that any Government funding they receive is pulled,” argued Fitzmaurice, a constituency colleague to deputy Murphy.