The public relations company behind last week's photo call to announce details of a major upgrade of Dublin's water system has defended the use of female models at the launch.

The comments come after it emerged the Green Party was seeking a review of the use of 'female glamour models' to promote the council's work.

Cllr Bronwen Maher's motion will be put to councillors in the coming weeks.

The company - which was employed by Dublin City Council to publicise the upgrade - says that models posing with Environment Minister Dick Roche greatly increased the chance of the project getting publicity.

A spokesperson said 'a picture is worth a thousand words' and the decision to contract models Sarah Morrissey and Corina Grant was a cost effective way of promoting 'a major infrastructural project'.

A spokesperson for the Department of Environment said the presence of models at events the minister attends was nothing to do with it.

Dick Roche was at the launch of new electrically powered vans in Dublin this afternoon.

The Modec company, which designed the vehicles, said the only models present were of the four-wheeled variety.

Meanwhile, there were heated scenes in Donabate in north Dublin this evening, where the Minister was confronted by local people opposed to a proposed wastewater treatment plant for the area.

Some of those present jeered Mr Roche and others chanted slogans, as he spoke to local residents and politicians about their concerns.

Mr Roche was in the area as part of a pre-election constituency visit, and agreed to meet local representatives to hear their views on the proposed plant, which would deal with waste water from up to 850,000 homes in Dublin, Meath, Kildare and Wicklow.

But he was quickly surrounded by a group of around 50 people, who sought his views, and who offered their own.

At the end of the meeting the minister agreed to meet with a delegation of local residents and their representatives at Leinster House next week.