"The company has always been at the forefront of quality and product development, and is committed to achieving an equally enviable reputation in training, health and safety, environmental standards, and most importantly customer service. These issues will remain our focus as we look forward to the continued implementation of the National Development Plan"
The blurb from the Cement Roadstone Website.!Prosecute CRH for illicit dumping, says An Taisce chief
TWO men charged in Sept 2005 with illegal dumping and pollution on Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) sites have been described by An Taisce as "fall guys" for the company’s poor environmental record.
John Healy from Blessington and his son Francis , were charged with illegal dumping in relation to incidents in January 1997 and December 2001 when they are accused of disposing "lorryloads of waste without a waste licence".
A second charge was brought for dumping "in a manner that caused or was likely to cause pollution".
Frank Corcoran, chairman of An Taisce, said the decision by James Hamilton, the Director of Public Prosecutions (DPP), not to bring criminal charges against CRH, the owners of the land, is clearly contrary to European Union environmental law.
Bertie Ahern, and Fianna Fail represent "The Irish authorities who have refused to take criminal proceedings against Roadstone and under legal precedents they must do so," said Corcoran.
The European Court of Justice last year ruled that criminal charges must be brought against companies that own sites which have been polluted. Corcoran is bringing a case against the Irish government in the European courts for failing to act against CRH.
Stavros Dimas, the EU environmental commissioner, has asked An Taisce to compile a report on the illegal dumping and pollution of groundwater at a series CRH sites in Wicklow. A spokesman for CRH last week said: "No charges have been proferred against the company or anyone in it."
The two men charged last week are directors of Blue Bins, a sewage and refuse disposal company. The plant hire company had unlimited access to CRH sites for several years. During the course of the investigation, environmental investigators from Wicklow county council discovered eight separate illegal dumping sites byoverflying the 600-acre site with thermal-imaging equipment that spots the higher temperatures of decomposing waste. Three of the sites were described as having "substantial" amounts of waste and three more as in need of remediation.Half the estimated 100,000 tonnes of dumped material found by investigatorswas domestic and the rest was construction and demolition waste. Wicklow council has orderd CRH to remove the waste, but the Environmental Protection Agency must issue a licence.
CRH’s first application for a licence, which included a bid to create three new landfill sites, was refused by the DPP. The decision is under review and will be decided by December.
Until then CRH is forbidden to handle the waste, so it remains in situ. Meanwhile the citizens pay escalating bin taxes to line the pockets of these corporate criminals, such as C.R.H. in whose offices , the ghost of Des Traynor still holds court for both illegal dumping, and the Ansbacher/caymen Islands deposits of C.J.haugheys circle of "Friends of Fianna Fail"
Wicklow County Council has said a controversial plan to buy land from Roadstone at Glen Ding near Blessington,for a reservoir, has already been approved months ago, by Minister Dick Roche.!
The council was responding to opposition to the plan from Minister for the Environment Dick Roche who said he only became aware of it in recent weeks.!
In a letter to Wicklow county manager Eddie Sheehy in November 2005 Mr Roche said he was "amazed" at the plan to locate a reservoir on the controversial Roadstone land,given their history of ownership of illegal dumps in the area,but Wicklow County said Mr Roche had approved the purchase many months ago.!
Mr Roche said recently he is anxious that the deal should not go ahead as the council has a "complex" history of lack of planning enforcement with the company. "I can explain all the confusion over this issue,said mr Roche.It,s a touch of Alzheimers disease,im afraid.When Cullen became too controversial in environment, Bertie said I was a safe pair of hands,-but look...see how they tremble".!
Roadstone has had a "controversial" history in the Co Wicklow. Its acquisition of Glen Ding from the State in 1991 took place in circumstances described by the Comptroller and Auditor General as "inappropriate". The council subsequently zoned the land for quarrying and granted planning permission to Roadstone, but this was overturned in a third-party appeal to the High Court in 1998.
The council itself subsequently secured a High Court order against the company for unauthorised development and a recent application for a quarrying extension at Glen Ding was overturned by Bord Pleanála, partly because of the presence of national monuments.
Roadstone is also in ongoing negotiations with Wicklow County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency over remedying a large-scale illegal dump on its land at Blessington.
A RETIRED senior civil servant rejected suggestions of political interference in the controversial sale of state land during the period when Charles Haughey was Taoiseach.
Sean Fitzgerald, Assistant Secretary at the Department of Energy at the time of the sale at Glen Ding, Co Wicklow, to Roadstone in 1990, told the Moriarty Tribunal he also had no reason to believe Mr Haughey even knew of the transaction.
Roadstone, which owned a neighbouring site at Blessington, Co Wicklow, agreed a private deal with the department to buy the land for IR£1.25m (€1.58m) in December 1990, despite an earlier assurance given in the Dail in October, 1988, by a previous Energy Minister, Ray Burke, that it was the intention that the land would be sold by way of public tender.
At the time of the sale, Mr Haughey's financial adviser was the late Des Traynor who was also chairman of Roadstone's parent company Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) and chairman of CRH's acquisition's committee.
Mr Fitzgerald told the tribunal the decision to sell by way of private treaty to Roadstone was not intended as "a favour" to them but rather as a means of getting the most money for the public purse.
He said to have put the land up for public auction might have attracted other bidders, but these might have produced such low bids that Roadstone might have been able to get the 145-acres for a cheaper price than the one eventually achieved.
He added that to have sold it by way of public tender would have attracted attention to the sale and "all hell could have broken loose" with objections from other interests which could have led to political pressure on the Government to withdraw from the sale.
The former assistant secretary gave details of how it was his department handling the sale and the minister at the time was Robert Molloy.
Mr Burke was succeeded as minister by Michael Smith in November 1988, and Mr Molloy took over in July, 1989.
In response to questioning by John Coughlan, SC, for the tribunal, Mr Fitzgerald emphasised that as minister Mr Molloy was someone who would not become involved in "untoward" dealings and who would not allow irregular or improper approaches to be made to him.
Mr Fitzgerald was asked by his counsel about whether approaches had been made to him as assistant secretary. He told the tribunal that not only had he not been approached in "any fashion whatsoever" but he also did not believe any of his staff had been approached.
Earlier he had told Mr Coughlan that had there even been "pressures, suggestions or nudges" in respect of any possible political interference, it would have been well documented. And he added: "If you are referring to Mr Haughey I have no reason to believe that he even knew of this transaction.
"It was within Mr Molloy's competence to deal with it and he is and was a very independent minded man and minister and I don't believe for one minute he would do anything untoward or irregular either. And he certainly gave me no impression whatsoever he was under pressure from any other quarter."
The Tribunal has already heard how another bidder, Brendan Johnston of Johnston Enterprises, felt he had been unfairly treated by the department.
Eugene Moloney (Irish Independent)
A legendary figure in Irish business, the founder of C.R.H. one Tom Roche Snr,a Fianna Fail mover and shaker of the Haughey era is now with his maker (or with Haughey) in that great resting place in the sky.
He started off making blocks and selling coal from the back of a truck with a £250 investment from his mother. His connections with Charles Haughey enabled him to establish a cement monopoly in the Irish state. He went on to become the driving force behind the conglomerate, CRH. After the Bula debacle, (a piratical attempt to claim jump the assets of a foreign mining company in Navan) he and his son Thomas Jnr, founded NTR which controls Dublin's East-Link and West-Link toll bridges.
Tom Roche was used to dealing with people who could grease the wheels of commerce. To aid his progress in this venture, Tom Roche Snr paid "consultancy fees" of £74,000 to the colourful politician, Liam Lawlor TD. He also handed an envelope with £10,000 in cash to the City Manager in charge of planning, George Redmond, to "hurry things up" on the West-Link project so that the bridge would meet its construction deadline of 1987.
The huge profits generated by the two toll bridges have allowed National Toll Roads to diversify into property, waste management,(Greenstar) green electricity and other diverse businesses.
CONOR ROCHE, (32), recently set up a Dublin office of the international concierge service
Quintessentially (which, for a modest fee, will take the drudgery out of holidaying and luxury shopping, and even arrange the perfect night out).
He has an enviable pedigree among the Soldiers of Destiny's golden circle.
He is the grandson of Tom Roche senior, founder of Cement Roadstone Holdings, andof celebrated hotelier PV Doyle, of the Jurys Doyle group. Conor’s father, Tom Roche junior,was the man who gave us National Toll Roads,and married Anne Doyle, a daughter of PV Doyle(one of the most grasping and meanest tax dodegers that ever partied in the Haughey circle).
Both of Conor’s parents now sit on the board of theJurys Doyle group. Two aunts on his mother’s side, Eileen and Bernie, are also on the board of the hotel group and the sisters have spent the last few years carefully engineering the privatisation of the company. Eileen is married to John Gallagher, who founded Celtic Waste Management (later Greenstar, more of which anon). Another aunt, this time on his father’s side, Maura, married Dan Tierney, who founded the Cross Pharmaceutical Group and Conor’s cousin Donal is ceo of Cross Vetpharm Holdings. And this is to merely scratch the surface of the interlocking and overlapping business interests between the Doyle sisters and the Roche family.
The Roche family – like that other business dynasty, the Dunnes – can turn nasty. The sale of Tom Roche senior’s old house in Cross Avenue, Blackrock, blew up into a massive family rift when Eleanor Roche (Conor’s aunt) tried to oppose the sale. It was an acrimonious falling out that shocked even the judge presiding – Justice Peter Kelly – and resulted in Eleanor and her son, Michael Wymes junior, being taken into hospital over the stress of the case. The house was eventually sold.
The family slotted Conor into a position as Head of Business Development with Greenstar. He also became a non-executive director on the boards of Conor Holdings (the company that controls NTR and its subsidiaries), and Woodford Capital (through which the Roche family’s shares in NTR are held). Most significantly, he was recently appointed as an alternate director to his father on the board of the Jurys Doyle group,expanding his involvement in both sides of the family business.
Quintessentially Ireland, then, represents only his second foray into business outside the family’s interests. He has clearly learned some lessons, though, and his partner in the business, and managing director of the company, is Louise O’Riordan, with whom he has been friends since childhood and with whom he livesin London. Happily, O’Riordan has all the experience, having worked for the company in a number of their offices around the world.
Roche, though previously a Quintessentially customer, is not one of the Irish social scene’s better known butterflies. Roche believes that Quintessentially Ireland is not about exclusivity, though the company does not advertise and prefers to rely on word of mouth and referrals from existing members. Its very existence, in fact, testifies to the existence of a pampered nouveau riche in Irish society;
Roche calls them the ‘cash rich, time poor’. However, Quintessentially is not Roche’s day job. Conor spends most of his time as head of Business Development at Greenstar, where his uncle John Gallagher has long recognised the truth in the maxim that ‘there’s money in muck’. This position is a further indication of Conor’s role within the family group, since NTR announced in April 2006 that it was redirecting its focus towards energy and recycling. By then it had already purchased recycling companies in Wexford, Sligo, Cork, the southeast, and entered into a partnership with Bedminster International in November (coincidentally, Bedminster has on its board one Bill McCabe, backer of rival concierge service The Oyster Circle). And in the middle of 2006 a further €200 million was put aside, though there have been no further acquisitions. Greenstar, of course, is a controversial company. There has been opposition to dumps in Co Galway and Co Kildare, and to a waste treatment plant in one of Co Cork’s most scenic mountain areas. There were also accusations, by District Court judge Con O’Leary, of arrogance by the company after it was prosecuted by the EPA over odours coming from a waste-transfer station in Glanmire, Co Cork. Tom Roche senior, who never set foot inside a business school, was one of the best business strategists of his day. PV Doyle too manipulated the bigger scene until he practically monopolised the Dublin hotel market while also chairing Bord Fáilte. Conor will be aware of all this as he continues his rise in family business. Quintessentially Ireland is only a side project,the real money is still in muck.! and stealth taxes and bin charges.