In short

 

Today's other ardfheis stories in brief

'Easygoing' Leitrim voters lose cool

The “frustratingly easygoing, almost philosophical” voters of Leitrim are angry at the division of a county of 28,000 people into two constituencies, according to Manorhamilton councillor Micheál Colreavy.

The Sinn Féin ardfheis supported his motion calling for a change to the terms of reference to the Electoral Constituency Commission to protect “the integrity of county boundaries”.

He said Leitrim was a “beautiful county with . . . beautiful people. It never had an awful lot. It never demanded an awful lot – frustratingly easygoing, almost philosophical people . . . But the almost philosophical people of Leitrim are now very, very angry because of the Government’s move to split our beautiful little county of 28,000 into two constituencies.

“The northern part goes to Sligo and the southern part to Roscommon.

“Why was it done? It was done because the figures showed the logical conclusion was going to be a Sinn Féin TD,” he said.

Call for ban on hare and fox hunts

Delegates backed an Ogra Shinn Féin motion calling “for a total ban on all blood sports, including hare coursing and fox hunting”. Dublin Ógra member Aine Downes said 30 hares had been killed at recent coursing meetings. The ardfheis rejected a separate motion from cumainn in Ardfert, Co Kerry, and Thurles, Co Tipperary, calling delegates to accept that “hare coursing is not a blood sport, and that it opposes any attempt to ban a popular rural sport”.

Warning over possible water tax

The Government may attempt to introduce a water tax and use it as a bargaining tool in the next few months, according to a Sinn Féin local election candidate.

Galway West candidate Tom Hurley said there had been a lack of public funding investment in water services and a “substantial increase in water contamination throughout Ireland”. The Government may “try to introduce a water tax and use it as a bargaining tool with the social partners”.

Concern over incinerator

Sinn Féin delegates backed an emergency motion expressing concern that the refusal of planning permission for the Rathcoole incinerator in west Dublin will reinforce plans to build an incinerator in Poolbeg, south Dublin.

The motion called on party councillors to tell councils that “no further incinerators or thermal treatment or thermal energy solutions dependent on the burning of combustion waste be situated in this country”.

The motion welcomed the refusal of planning permission for the Rathcoole incinerator, but “is concerned about the implications of the decision for the community adjacent to the Poolbeg incinerator given it could be construed the decision is reinforcing the position of an incinerator in Poolbeg within the waste-management plan for the Dublin region”.