Irish Examiner - 05/01/06
ZEMBLANITY is a word Eugenia Whelan can identify with.
It means the opposite of serendipity, which is the knack of making fortunate, unexpected discoveries.
The discovery Eugenia made on returning from Cork to her native Drogheda five years ago was not a happy one.
A waste management company had applied for planning permission to build a incinerator just a couple of fields from her new home. Indaver Ireland received approval for that application in March 2003 and in November last, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) issued a waste licence for the 150,000 tonnes per annum incinerator. On Tuesday this week, Indaver announced its intention to apply for an increase in the capacity of its waste facility in Carranstown, Duleek, to 200,000 tonnes. Eugenia is devastated.
“It is the irony of ironies really. I moved from Carrigaline, Co Cork, five years ago, around the time Indaver applied for a licence to operate a hazardous waste incinerator in nearby Ringaskiddy. Then I discovered Indaver had lodged an application for the Meath facility. It’s as if the incinerator is following me.”
Eugenia and her husband Ciaran returned to her native county for family reasons.
The mother of three runs a small Montessori school in her home at Five Oaks Village, Dublin Road, Drogheda. It is, she says, an ideal, beautiful location. The view when she walks out her front door is of green fields: the only blot on the horizon is the Irish Cement plant at Platin, Co Meath. If Indaver gets its way, a 65-metre chimney stack will enter the picture.
Aesthetics aside, Eugenia’s overriding concern is for her own three children - Niamh, 15, Sinead, 11, and Cathal, 10 - and for the health of her little Montessori charges.
“I’m a mother first and foremost and I also have a small Montessori school. Children breathe twice as quickly as adults so they will be sucking in air at twice the rate of anyone else. They therefore take in twice the amount of pollutants. If I had known there were plans for an incinerator in the area, I would never have bought here.”
Eugenia already has concerns about Irish Cement. On Tuesday, a heavy fog which descended overnight lingered on in the morning, and when it eventually lifted, Eugenia claims she could see a cement residue. She has concerns that on cold, foggy, frosty days, any hangovers from the incinerator will also linger.
Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment