Limerick planners criticised as permission for plant is cemented

PROJECT:  COMPANY LOOKING TO INVEST €10M AS PART OF CONTROVERSIAL PLAN

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Limerick planners criticised as permission for plant is cemented

Multi-milllion euro plans: Irish Cement in Mungret

COUNCILLORS in Limerick's metropolitan district have criticised planners for granting permission to Irish Cement’s controversial proposals.

Under €10m plans, Irish Cement in Mungret is seeking to ditch the use of petroleum coke in the production of the substance.

Instead the firm wants to use solid recovered waste and used tyres, a move which many residents fear could lead to an increase in the number of emissions from the plant, with fears these could be toxic in nature.

For its part, Irish Cement has always claimed that due to the fact incineration will take place at 1,500 degrees celsius, there will be no increase in emissions.

But meeting for the first time since conditional permission was given, members did not hold back.

Cllr Malachy McCreesh, Sinn Fein, said: “Allowing hazardous waste to be incinerated at any facility in Limerick will certainly present future generations with possible far reaching health impacts, due to the likely emission of dioxins and furans. To date, objections on serious health concerns, by local communities and residents living in the wider emissions impact zone have been ignored.”

His party colleague Seighin O Ceallaigh agreed, adding: “None of us supported this. We have been slapped in the face by a pure lack of democracy. This is an example of the disastous effect of power being given to unelected officials.”

Cllr James Collins, Fianna Fail, said: “This is an ageing cement kiln. Irish Cement is trying to compare this to a purpose-built modern waste incinerator. It’s a nonsense. We don’t believe what Irish Cement is telling us, and we don’t have faith in the EPA.”

Solidarity councillor Paul Keller added: “This decision is a slap in the face for councillors. You can throw away the motto ‘People First’”

Council director Kieran Lehane said: "I do accept the very genuine concerns expressed. But we’re bound in making decisions by planning and environmental law.”