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Minister Ryan accused of political cowardice

Statement by Liz McManus TD
Spokesperson on Communications, Energy and Natural Resources

Deputy McManus has slammed the decision by the Minister for Communication and Energy, Eamon Ryan to refuse to answer a parliamentary question on offshore wind turbines. The question has been passed on to the Minister for Agriculture and is a clear example of a Minister refusing accountability.

Deputy McManus said: “This abdication of responsibility to answer a parliamentary question is the worst example of a Minister hiding behind Dail procedures. Even the Minister for Health, Mary Harney, who set up the HSE to outsource Ministerial responsibility is more accountable in the Dail.

“The question tabled was seeking information on the granting of planning permission for offshore wind turbines. Concerns have been raised about the lack of democratic input in relation to such decisions where there is no planning provision whatsoever for the public to make their views known. Before the General Election the Green Party promised reform in this area. Now that the Green Party is in government they are refusing to even answer questions on the matter.

“In this case the Minister for Energy has refused to answer questions on this and has passed the matter on to the Minister for Agriculture. This is simply political cowardice.

“The Minister for Energy must be accountable to the Dail. It is not good enough to issue press releases when it suits him and to refuse to answer difficult questions when it doesn’t suit him.”

The Labour Party

labour.ie

16 April 2008