That's the view of the Irish Examiner with regards to An Bord Pleanála’s decision to allow the building of an incinerator at Ringaskiddy, Co. Cork. I'm not so sure.
First of all, I'm totally opposed to the very idea of An Bord Pleanála. I see no reason that I or anyone who doesn't live in the area should have any claim as to what can or cannot be done in Ringaskiddy. The people of the region should decide themselves if they want an incinerator or not. It's entirely possible that in the not-too-distant future, the pharmaceutical and chemical factories that provide much of the employment in the area will find that waste disposal without a local incinerator would not be cost-effective.
However, to call this a denial of local democracy assumes that there is a local democracy to begin with. But, there is not. Sure, we have local elections and county/city/town councils, but none of these bodies makes any real laws for the citizens who live within their boundaries. Who sets the tax rates? Who determines how much to spend on education/police/etc.?
While this decision is a diktat handed down from an unelected (and only barely accountable) central body, it was only a denial of a local opposition movement. Who knows if it was a denial of democracy? If the people of the area had local votes where they could choose between pro-Environment or pro-Business (or whatever) candidates, then we'd be able to find out which position the local people would support.
Imagine if there were a real chance that their jobs would be lost and the local economy would suffer, then there'd be a real decision to make. As it is, all people here can do is complain and hope that someone in the central authority is listening. What you get is occasional bursts where a local issue makes enough of a splash to generate interest at the central government level, but otherwise, it's generally a case of the "squeakiest wheel gets the oil". That's no way to run a democracy.