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Irons pleads at hearing for national rejection of incinerators

Wednesday October 1st 2003

OSCAR winner Jeremy Irons yesterday launched an emotional appeal to Ireland to reject waste incineration and refuse to mortgage the country's world-famous "clean and green" environmental heritage.

Irons - who owns a medieval castle in West Cork - made a high-profile appearence yesterday on the seventh day of An Bord Pleanala's oral hearing into a 100m toxic waste incinerator proposed for Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, by Belgian firm, Indaver.

Looking fit and relaxed, Irons arrived by chauffeur-driven car to the hearing's Neptune Stadium venue in Blackpool.

"I have no experience - I am not an expert on incineration," he declared.

"But I am putting my case today and my belief that this kind of project will, in the long run, damage Ireland's worldwide image and particularly its tourism industry," he added.

"Yes, I don't live in this area - but I don't have to hear it or smell it to realise it's not good for Ireland."

However, Indaver boss John Ahern dismissed the actor's high-profile appeal as "idealistic".

"Mr Irons spoke with great passion but he also spoke about an ideal world - a world where there just isn't any waste," he added.

The hearing is expected to conclude next week.

Ralph Riegel

Irish Independent
http://www.unison.ie/irish_independent/ & http://www.unison.ie/
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