Limerick councillor may refer Irish Cement to European Court of Human Rights

PLANNING: MEMBERS SLAM OFFICIALS AFTER PLANS PASSED

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick councillor may refer Irish Cement to European Court of Human Rights

Cllr Sean Lynch has said he may lead case to ECHR

LIMERICK councillor Sean Lynch has said he may take Irish Cement to the European Court of Human Rights over its Mungret plans.

Metropolitan councillors have unanimously backed a motion opposing the firm’s plans to burn tyres and solid recovered waste. And Cllr Lynch said the fact this could affect air quality in the vicinity means it qualifies for European court.

“As far as I’m aware, it is our human right to be able to breathe fresh air. Is there a case that if we cannot achieve what we’re looking for, can we go to the European Court of Human Rights. I feel our human rights are being violated,” the FF councillor said.

Irish Cement has always maintained due to the fact the process takes place at such a high temperature, any changes will be minimal.

Separately, Cllr Cian Prendiville has expressed concern at the council’s appointment of AWN Consulting to prepare a submission on behalf of the council to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), which is currently deliberating whether to award an operating licence.

He highlighted the fact AWN has prepared submissions in support of incineration projects nationwide, including locally, Cadence EnviroPower’s gasification plant at Gortnadroma.

“It’s hardly appropriate for the council to hire in the incineration industry’s yes-man to advise them on Irish Cement’s plans, and expect to get anything other than pro-incineration spin,” he said, adding he has submitted a motion calling on the council to give the consultants the sack.

But a spokesperson for the council said it awarded the contract to AWM on the basis of a tender.

“The contract was awarded on the basis of the most economically advantageous tender when both tender price and the expertise of staff who would be involved were taken into account,” the spokesperson said.

It is likely the council’s submission to the EPA will be less than supportive of Irish Cement’s plans, in order to reflect the views of members.

This Monday, many councillors turned fire on the executive for granting planning permission to Irish Cement for the physical nature of its plans against their wishes.

Cllr Vivienne Crowley, Fianna Fail, said: “It’s an appalling indictment on the council that the needs of the private sector has been put before the needs of our citizens. It’s a disgrace the council would act so recklessly with the lives of its citizens.”