Ali Hewson challenges political parties and battles with UK
THE Shut Sellafield group is now set to challenge political
parties to make the issue a central part of their General
Election agendas, it emerged last night.
Buoyed by the success of the protest campaign which saw
more than 1.5m postcards posted to 10, Downing Street, and
also to Prince Charles the aim is now to keep the momentum
going in Ireland in the run-up to voting day on May 17.
Last night, Ali Hewson who hand-delivered her own postcard
to Tony Blair's residence described the reaction to the
campaign as "incredible". She told the Sunday Independent: "It
goes to show how strongly Irish people feel about the issue
and the dangers of Sellafield."
The result has been particularly rewarding because the
Broadcasting Act meant that the campaign could not be promoted
on radio or TV.
Ms Hewson said: "If more than 1.5 million people in Ireland
have called on the British government to shut down Sellafield,
it is a challenge to Irish political parties to make sure they
make it an election issue."
Ms Hewson also strongly dismissed a claim by British energy
minister Brian Wilson that the campaigners were "emotive"
about the issue.
She said: "If he is saying we are emotional about about the
health and safety of our children, then yes, we are guilty.
Our feelings and worries are based on real concerns."
Bono's wife also accused the British minister of being
"pedantic" for saying she had admitted she realised Sellafield
could not be closed down.
She said: "We want the reprocessing activities stopped. We
want them to stop bringing nuclear waste there from all over
In a statement, Mr Wilson declared: "The most irresponsible
thing that anyone could do with Sellafield would be to shut it
He added: "The shared interest of the British and Irish
peoples is that Sellafield should be run to the highest
standards of safety and regulation."
The Shut Sellafield postcards delivered to 10 Downing
Street bore an image of a human eye beside the words: "Tony,
look me in the eye and tell me I'm safe."
Ms Hewson said after delivering her card: "A report
commissioned by the European Parliament has said Sellafield
has the potential to be 80 times more hazardous than
Chernobyl. We are taking all the risks and yet we do not have
a say in this."
Meanwhile, several hundred postcards with an image of a
radioactive shamrock had arrived at St James's Palace, a
However, the palace said Prince Charles would not be
commenting on the campaign as it was a political matter.