The Irish Congress of Trade Unions has called for a national debate on nuclear power as a way of providing enough energy for Ireland's growing population.

Speaking at the launch of a Congress policy document on sustainable energy, General Secretary David Begg said that he was not 'cheerleading' for nuclear power, but said that within five years it must be acklowledged that some energy imported from the UK would undoubtedly be generated by nuclear means.

He accused the Government of a lack of joined-up thinking in its formulation of energy policy .

Congress has also called for the establishment of a National Energy Agency. They said the energy issue is too serious to be left in the hands of politicans engaging in ' electoral gimmickry'