An Taisce’s appeal of the €140m Glanbia cheese factory in Kilkenny has started to expose the holes in the Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Green Party coalition.

On Tuesday, An Taoiseach and leader of Fianna Fáil, Micheál Martin, spoke out against An Taisce’s appeal.

However, Green Party Minister for Children Roderic O’Gorman directly countered the Taoiseach’s comments.

O’Gorman told RTÉ on Wednesday morning that the appeal should remain a matter for the courts and politicians should not get involved.

Political outburst

It follows a weekend of political outburst over the appeal from a group of TDs and senators in Fine Gael, who released a joint statement.

Deputies Charlie Flanagan (Laois-Offaly), Paul Kehoe (Wexford), John Paul Phelan (Carlow-Kilkenny) and David Stanton (Cork East), and Senators Garret Ahearn (Tipperary) and John Cummins (Waterford) urged An Taisce to withdraw its appeal against the planning ruling.

Last week, An Taisce was taken to task by TDs and senators in an Oireachtas Agriculture Committee hearing over their decision to appeal against the plant, which Glanbia has cited as the reason behind asking suppliers to curb peak milk supply.

An Taisce spokesperson Ian Lumley said the appeal was over environmental concerns for the local area and the contribution of the dairy sector to greenhouse gas emissions.