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Incinerator hearing set to continue

September 30, 2003

An Bord Pleanála's public hearing into a plan to build Ireland's first commercial toxic waste incinerator in Cork harbour now looks set to run into a third week.

Indaver Ireland, which is seeking permission to build the incinerator, presented its case last week. Since then, the Board has been hearing submissions from objectors, including actor Jeremy Irons.

Indaver's General Manager, John Ahern, has argued that Ireland was at the mercy of the goodwill of other countries to accept its toxic waste, leaving it vulnerable.

But the hearing was branded 'a charade' by objectors to the development after the chairman ruled out discussions of health and environmental issues.

Joe Noonan, solicitor for Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, said the ruling was an absolute denial of a community's fundamental concerns.

In a passionate speech to the planning appeals board, Jeremy Irons said he was speaking as a 'blow-in' and someone who could see Ireland's strengths with a 'fresh eye'.

He said as a well travelled man he observed how other countries had been ruined by planning decisions based purely on the dollar, instead of on the love of the environment.

The British actor, who won an Oscar in 1991 for his role as murder suspect Claus von Bulow in the film 'Reversal of Fortune', said he backed the anti-incinerator campaign 100% despite the fact that he is not living in the area proposed for development.

Tomorrow officials from Cork County Council will present their submissions on the proposal. The hearing is now expected to finish next week.

This page : http://www.rte.ie/news/2003/0930/incinerator.html
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