EPA report poses fresh questions for Irish Cement in Limerick

Nick Rabbitts


Nick Rabbitts

EPA report poses fresh questions for Irish Cement in Limerick

Clare Keating, who lives in Sli Na Manach

A REPORT from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) on a dust sample taken from a car in Mungret has confirmed it is likely to have emanated from Irish Cement.

Claire Keating, who lives in Sli Na Manach, had a sample of material which landed on her car windscreen last month tested by the EPA.

The regulator’s report has come back – and it reveals a match between what landed outside her home, and a sample taken from Irish Cement’s factory in Mungret.

Now, Ms Keating says she and a number of other residents are considering legal action against the firm – after her estate was hit by three blow-outs in the last four months.

So far, Irish Cement has yet to admit liability for the blow-outs, but tellingly has offered to clean the cars of residents affected.

“We are looking at the legal route as we speak,” Ms Keating told the Limerick Leader this week.

“We’re fed up to the high heavens of this. I have already been in touch with a solicitor over this.”

Inspectors from the EPA had visited Irish Cement and its surrounds on April 6 – a number of days after an alleged blow-out hit Mungret residents.

They took seven samples from the factory and its surrounds, and found the match on the seventh and final one.

“But still Irish Cement has not given an official statement accepting liability. They said there was an issue with one of their cement clinkers. They have offered free car washes, which are not working, may I add,” Ms Keating said.

Meanwhile, it has also emerged that the Environmental Protection Agency is to start monitoring the air quality around Irish Cement in the back garden of a resident based in Sli na Manach.

Local Sinn Fein councillor Malachy McCreesh said: “While clearly more is needed it is at least a recognition by the EPA of the risks that the local community are potentially being exposed to by dust suspected of coming from Irish Cement.”

But he criticised Irish Cement for its “lack of transparency and engagement with local communities” for not accepting liability for the blow-outs.

In a statement earlier this week, Irish Cement said it is liasing with people affected by the blow-outs.

The company said after an inspection last week, repairs were made to a cement clinker conveyor which is now operating normally.