Irish media reported that the minister has opted not to use his powers, despite a pre-election promise that the project, due to be built near his own constituency, would not go ahead.

Dublin city officials confirmed at a recent council meeting that they had had no word from Mr Gormley asking them to change their waste management plans.

As a result, the councillors voted in favour of a motion calling on the minister to intervene.

However, a spokesman for the Minister told the Irish Independent that Mr Gormley did not have the legal powers to reverse a decision that had already been made to enter into a public-private partnership.

“The minister does not have any powers to intervene with a decision to proceed with the Poolbeg incinerator,” he explained to the paper.

The proposals for the Poolbeg incinerator, which were approved by the Environmental Projection Agency in November, allowed for the construction of a facility with a maximum annual intake of 600,000 tonnes of residual non-hazardous waste.

James Cooper

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