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Ireland's government lashes out following European punishment

The Irish government has hit out at local authorities and its Environment Protection Agency, following Ireland's reprimand by the European Court of Justice (ECJ).

The ECJ last week ruled that Irish authorities had ignored waste crime for long periods of time. (see MRW story)

In response, Irish Minister for the Environment Dick Roche has made a political first by issuing a policy direction to local authorities and the Environment Protection Agency.

He said: "I am simply not prepared to tolerate the way illegal operators have been allowed to get away with their crimes and am calling for much tougher action from the enforcement authorities."

Roche has issued a number of orders under the policy direction, including telling Irish local authorities to draw up an inventory of all sites where illegal waste recovery or disposal has taken place.

He added: "I want to see these criminals brought to justice and made to pay for the havoc they have caused to the environment and to the local communities who have suffered greatly."

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