‘Hundreds of tonnes’ of tar lie under Limerick city

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

FEARS have come to light that “hundreds of tonnes” of liquid tar could flow into the Shannon from the former gasworks site in the Dock Road.

FEARS have come to light that “hundreds of tonnes” of liquid tar could flow into the Shannon from the former gasworks site in the Dock Road.

And a senior executive from Bord Gais, which over the next three years is removing the tar from the site, said they have no plans for it afterwards.

It has emerged that hundreds of tonnes of liquid tar lie underground the vast site in the heart of the city - which has been derelict since production ceased there in the 1960s.

Bord Gais has outlined plans to “remediate” the site, pumping out the tar from deep underground.

This will take until at least 2014, and Declan Bourke, who is leading the project said there are no plans for after this.

This has led Mayor Jim Long to express fears an incineration plant could open on the access point beside the river. He said this is because Bord Gais purchased the site from Shannon Foynes Port Company, whom they leased it from initially, last year.

Councillor John Gilligan cautioned the liquid tar underground could still pose a “huge environmental problem” to the city.

Over the next two years, a major excavation of the site will take place, with pilot holes being drilled, and warm water techniques being used to ensure as much liquid tar as possible exits the site.

However, Mr Bourke conceded it will be impossible to remove all the tar from below the ground.