One of the Green Party’s new ministers in government is John Gormley.. and he’s Minister for the Environment. Good news for the Greens? Perhaps, but the out-going Minster for the Environment, Dick Roche has left an unpleasant legacy in regard to the M3 motorway and Tara Hill – recently declared one of the world’s 100 most endangered heritage sites. According to the report, on Tuesday the then-Minister “signed an order for the “preservation by record” of the recently discovered prehistoric henge at Lismullin, Co Meath, on the route of the proposed M3″ – ie “photographed, sketched and measured before the motorway goes through the site” – but, with discussions with the Greens ongoing, a decision was taken not to tell anyone about it..
Last night, the Department of the Environment said the order could not be reversed by the incoming Minister. “The order was signed on Tuesday but it was decided not to issue a press release at that point because there was so much else going on,” a spokesman for the department said.
Updated below the fold Another UpdateWhether the new Minister can, as Ciarán Cuffe suggests, rescind the order isn’t clear
But this morning, the Green Party’s Ciarán Cuffe said he hopes Mr Gormley will be able to rescind Mr Roche’s order when he assumes office.
“One has to look at decisions made on the day of leaving office. I don’t know if it’s possible to change them, but I’d hope that we can,” the Dún Laoghaire TD said. “I’d hope that when the next crisis emerges on heritage issues, we’ll have a minister who is very capable of ensuring that heritage is at the top of the agenda.”
Update Arriving for work on a bicycle might look good.. but admitting you can’t change the decision isn’t
Speaking after arriving on a bicycle to take up his new post at the Customs House this morning, Mr Gormley said: “I will be looking at the documentation in the coming days but I think it is fair to say that I cannot really do anything thing about our previous minister’s decisions.”
And The other Green Party Minister Eamon Ryan, the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources has added
“That was a decision of the last Government,” he said. “This is a new Government.”
Yeah.. convenient that..