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Did we think it would be different?

Hope Project/La Pilar Learning
St. Joseph
Ballinabearna
Ballinhassig
Co.  Cork

021 4888503
021 4888566 fax
0872241182
hope.project@esatclear.ie

Did we think it would be different?  After the announcement that the Ringaskiddy Incinerator got the go ahead from An Bord Pleanala, I felt foolish to admit that I did think it would be different.  I thought that three weeks of clear and rational arguments against incineration in general and incineration at Ringaskiddy at the An Bord Pleanala hearings would put a stop to the proposal. Especially when there had already been a County Council refusal and three years of public disapproval expressed. I really though all this rejection would count for something.

I felt foolish in my optimism because of course the decision is in favour of Indavers €95 million waste business and EU waste strategies. It seems that it doesnit matter what we want or how right we are money and power prevail.

Aren’t we daily reminded that things like truth and democracy hold little weight?  Do we remember  having to revote in the Nice Treat Referendum? We were practically told that we might as well vote for Nice because otherwise the referendum would be held over and over until government got the result it wanted.  And now that the Nice Treaty is ratified, Poland is objecting because the EU wants to reduce even further the already minimalist voting rights for Poland that it contained.

Philip Jordan, the An Bord Pleanala inspector who chaired the incinerator hearings, did not recommend incineration.  He did his job which was to listen to all sides, Indaver, Cork County Council and us the objecting groups who were representative of public opinion. After listening his job was to inform the board. .In the end, he distilled his findings into 14 reasons, good reasons for rejecting incineration.  It showed we have nothing to fear from people who listen without an agenda. An Bord Pleanala ignored his information.

In the face of such blatant and arrogant disregard, words fail me. For what it is worth, I offer the following in bumper sticker form, in hopes it will be more comprehensible to government.

It’s all up in smoke. Rubbish is not the only thing that can go up in smoke.  With this rejection goes the hopes of the people of Cork for themselves and their children also the belief that we are a self-determining people, not to mention the dream of progressing to a respectful and sustainable waste management system.

Smoke and Mirrors characterises Indaver’s Waste Management Project in which a token recycling plant hides a massive toxic incinerator.  It also characterises the countrys Waste Management strategy in general and the whole planning process around the Ringaskiddy incinerator in particular. Smoke and mirrors are used in our countries industrial approval systems especially when they are toxic industries.  Ask the people of Askeaton, Co.Limerick if you can find them through the smoke.

The Smoke screen of An Bord Pleanala approval indicates a government and EU decision to ‘Burn, Baby, Burn’ regardless of the consequences.

No smoke without Fire. The people of Ringaskiddy/Cork/Ireland want no smoke.  So lets have no fire.

The truth will out. Minister Martin, Minister for Health and Children, has seen no convincing evidence to indicate another incinerator in Ringaskiddy will affect health. A minister can’t see evidence when he doesn’t look and when a three-week hearing disallows evidence based on health concerns. He can’t see any evidence of a vaccine connection to autism either for

much the same reasons.  The truth always comes out in the end. Unfortunately its manifestation is often tragic.  Will we have to find out about dioxins from people with cancer and children with birth defects? ‘First do no harm’ This is the basic premise of medicine, Minister.

‘Waste not wants not.’  We would have a very different economy, lifestyle and culture if we learned to respect and value people and the beautiful creation around us. We would change the culture for the better if we learn to prioritise, reuse, recycle, to make things that last and to consider using things responsibly.

‘Fight fire with fire’ If necessary money will have to be gathered and Indaver met in the courts.  Indaver anticipated this in having a legal team at the Neptune Stadium hearings at all times.

‘Enough is enough’ Hopefully the people of Ringaskiddy will be listened to in the courts but if it comes to bulldozers against bodies, I hope Indaver knows when to stop.

And finally, We shall overcome. Money wins battles, people win wars. People defending their families and home win because they have, because the alternative is unthinkable.

     

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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