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Irish Examiner - 19/02/05
The incineration of democracy

THE decision-making process in relation to the proposed waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy is a travesty of democracy.

The decision to allow the incinerator to be built is a blatant contravention of the Cork county development plan, which was adopted by the elected members of the county council following extensive public consultation.

What value is placed on the entire plan if such a decision can be taken against the very specific and well founded advice of the planning inspector who reported on the project to An Bord Pleanála?

At a time when we are urged to be aware of our environment, isn’t it strange that the Government is intent on rushing us into a process that is likely to work against the very objectives that they themselves have set out?

Every day, in expensive advertising campaigns, we are urged to reduce, reuse and recycle our waste - industrial, commercial and domestic.

There will be no waste left to reduce, reuse or recycle if this fiery monster is to be kept fed. But the most important question relates to public health. Incinerators produce one of the most toxic substances known to man in the form of dioxins.

Given the prevailing winds in this part of the country, the towns of Midleton, Cobh and Carrigtwohill will be in the front line of these emissions while all of east Cork will be exposed to some degree.

If there was no alternative, and if reliable technology existed to reduce that danger to a minimum, there might be a case to be made for the incinerator at Ringaskiddy.

In view of the valid objections that exist on planning, environmental, waste management, traffic and public health grounds, coupled with massive public opposition and the stupidity of undermining efforts to encourage better management of all waste, I urge the Government to think again.

Cllr Noel Collins
St Jude’s
Midleton
Co Cork

     

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment
Bishop's Road, Cobh, Co. Cork
Tel - 021 481 5564      Email - info@chaseireland.org
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