News & Media

Government must act on Smoky Coal Dáil vote

19 December 2019

Statement by Brendan Howlin TD
Party Leader and Spokesperson on Foreign Affairs and Northern Ireland

Following the overwhelming Dáil vote last night in favour of a nationwide ban on smoky coal, Labour Party Leader Brendan Howlin has called on the Government to act.

Deputy Howlin said:

“Last night the Dáil voted in favour of our motion calling for a nationwide ban on the sale of smoky coal.

“The Cabinet is holding its final meeting before Christmas today and they must consider carefully the message our national parliament sent to the Executive.

“The Government has failed to provide an adequate explanation for its policy U-turn on a nationwide ban.

“Their spurious reasoning that a national ban would be illegal, while the current town by town approach is not, does not stand up to any scrutiny. Their political charge that such a ban would mean we have to restrict the use of turf and timber is a disgraceful effort to muddy the waters and cause unnecessary fears.

“If the Fine Gael Government is to have any credibility, they must respect the will of the Dáil on this fundamental health issue, which is causing 1,500 premature deaths every year.

“If the Taoiseach and his Minister fail to act, they will have demonstrated once again the contempt Fine Gael has shown in recent times for our national parliament.”