On Dec 3, 2006 in Ringaskiddy, Cork Harbour residents and their public representatives came together on the 22nd anniversary of the Bhopal disaster (India 1984) to highight the fact that Dow Chemicals (which incorporates Union Carbide Corporation - owners of the Bhopal plant) is a shareholder in Indaver, the company that intends building a toxic waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy.
Today (Sun 3 Dec, 2006, 11.30am), in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork members of communities from around Cork Harbour were joined by public representatives on 22nd Anniversary of the Bhopal Disaster (India 1984), to highlight that Dow Chemicals incorporating Union Carbide Corporation, are shareholders of Indaver, the company that intends to unleash a cocktail of toxic chemicals on the Cork Harbour communities.
A short ceremony took place to remember the 20,000 victims of Bhopal as part of a Santa Scramble organised by CHASE to raise funds for the ongoing campaign to stop a 100,000 tonne hazardous waste incinerator and a 100,000 tonne municipal waste incinerator being built in Ringaskiddy.
A delegation of Santas delivered a clear message that the incinerator issue has put the Government and the incinerator firmly on Santa’s naughty list. Public representatives taking part included Cllr Ciaran Lynch, deputising for the Lord Mayor and Dan Boyle TD (Green Party) .
Speaking at the proposed Incinerator Site, Chairperson Mary O’Leary said “We are appalled that companies with a track record such as Dow Chemicals would have a say in key decisions in the future of Cork Harbour if this incinerator proceeds, it must not be allowed to happen. Dow Chemicals with an already shameful environmental track record, abdicated responsibility for the victims of the Bhopal Disaster. People are still suffering because of this. We will be making a donation to the Victims of Bhopal fund as a token of solidarity with these people.
This campaign is a campaign to protect Cork Harbour and our health, because An Bord Pleanala (against their Inspector's advice), the Irish Government, and the EPA have abdicated their responsibility to do so.”
The Flemish Government, employee shareholders and 23 Corporate Shareholders, one of whom is Dow Chemicals, own Indaver. The largest private shareholder (14.9 %) is Belgian energy giant Electrabel, which owns and operates power-generating stations across Europe, including Nuclear Power Stations in France and Belgium.
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Campaigners also held a memorial service for the victims of 1984’s Bhopal disaster when thousands were killed in a chemical leak in India.
Dow Chemicals, the company behind the chemical plant in Bhopal, is a shareholder in the Indaver firm behind the proposed incinerator in Cork Harbour.
Yesterday, about 70 protestors in costume made their way along a one-kilometre route from Ringaskiddy ferry port to the incinerator site as part of their protest against Indaver.
Campaigner Mary O’Leary, of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE), said the protesters wanted to show solidarity with the Bhopal victims.
“People are still suffering in Bhopal because of what happened,” said Ms O’Leary who is the chairwoman of CHASE.
“From our collection today we will be making a donation to the victims of Bhopal.”
She said if the fight were lost against the incinerator then Dow Chemicals as an Indaver shareholder would have a say in the future of Cork Harbour.
“We are appalled and this incinerator must not be allowed to happen,” said Ms O’Leary.
About 70 protesters turned up for what CHASE dubbed a “Santa scramble” against the incinerator, which will generate electricity by burning 200,000 tonnes of household and toxic waste annually.
Proposals for the incinerator were initially turned down by a planning inspector but An Bord Pleanála overturned the decision and gave the go-ahead.
The campaign group is pinning its hopes
on a High Court action being mounted by 11 residents who live near
the proposed site.
Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment