You've Got Mail, Tony !

26 Mar 2002
Tony Blair, Prince Charles and Norman Askew are about to receive a special delivery. Times a million.

Norman Who ? Norman Askew, head of British Nuclear Fuels, who, along with HRH Charles and the British PM is set to be on the receiving end of one million postcards next month - all demanding that the Sellafield Nuclear Power Station is shut down.

The campaign is the brainchild of Ali Hewson, after an idea by Michael Carroll.

'I¹ve always felt strongly opposed to Sellafield', said Ali. 'It is 60 miles away from the Irish coast. It is pumping 2 million gallons of radio active liquid waste into the Irish sea every day, making the Irish Sea the most radioactive sea in the world. If an accident happens at the plant, or if there is a terrorist attack, depending on which way the wind blows, Dublin, Dundalk, Drogheda, Belfast, and vast parts of Ireland, would be uninhabitable. Forever.'

Norman Askew, CEO of British Nuclear Fuels, is challenged to "tell us the truth". Prince Charles, environmentalist and sometime Irish tourist, will see a radioactive shamrock with the rhetorical question, "Wish you were here?" British Prime Minister Blair, gets the direct, nice-guy-next-door, treatment: "Tony, look me in the eye and tell me I'm safe..."

The Tony card will be sent free to all households in Ireland, to be signed and sent off (post free thanks to An Post) by April 19th. The hope is however, that everyone will also pay up for the other two - available at a euro each from post offices, banks, supermarkets and the web at - and send them off as well. Four million are being printed and once An Post has gathered them all, they will be delivered en masse on April 26th, the 16th anniversary of Chernobyl.

The beauty of the campaign, says Hewson, is its simplicity - not only do you voice your concern and send the card but the proceeds go to the Chernobyl Children's Project.

"We can use people power to make the population of Britain sit up and listen. "This is a civil action about your neighbours having a nuclear dustbin on your doorstep. "It is a person-to-person appeal. Prince Charles is a key figure in English society. The Irish can relate to him and very much respect his stand on the environment. "We are asking him to call on his government to take a second look, to ask again what they are doing, how it works economically and whether it is worth it."

As a patron of the Chernobyl Children's Project, Ali Hewson knows all about the effects of a nuclear reactor explosion - the fallout from the horrific Chernobyl nuclear reactor explosion is still being dealt with today. She began working with Adi Roche, founder of Chernobyl Childrens Project, in 1993, initially to work on the production of a TV documentary on Chernobyl - Black Winds, White Lands. In the last 7 years she has visited Chernobyl regularly, travelled with the Children's Project Convoys, worked on the adoption programme and helped organize the major fundraising programmes.

'The postcards are a peaceful yet powerful way for the Irish people to express our desire to have Sellafield shut down. The more cards we send, the stronger our message will be.'


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