Irish Cement hearing in Limerick: Council planners questioned over go-ahead

Nick Rabbitts at the South Court

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts at the South Court

A large crowd attending the first day of the oral hearing into Irish Cement's plans at the South Court

A large crowd attending the first day of the oral hearing into Irish Cement's plans at the South Court

SUBMISSIONS continued this Thursday afternoon at a planning hearing in Limerick into proposals by Irish Cement to burn alternative fuels such as waste in Mungret.

Members of Limerick Against Pollution have also been asking questions of council planners over their decision to give Irish Cement the go-ahead for its controversial plans to develop.

The anti-pollution lobby referred to articles on Limerick as one of the fastest growing cities in Europe under its 2030 plans.

Senior council planner Stephane Duclot was asked how the planning application for the factory impacts these multi-million euro proposals.

Mr Duclot says after looking at zoning, physical planning and city and county development plans, he was satisfied with the zoning of the plant for the application and a number of conditions were attached to the decision.

Speaking earlier in the afternoon session, testimony from 84-year-old Rosbrien resident Elsie McGee against Irish Cement's plans was read out.

“I worry about my children's health, but more realistically about my grandchildren's health if this licence were to be granted. I have learnt that life is precious and should be valued above all else.

“I have seen too many mistakes made with big consequences. Surely it is everyone's right to clean air, a safe unpolluted environment and to protect our generations to come,” her testimony read.

Independent City West councillor John Loftus warned Irish Cement bosses that its plans must be “written in stone” to avoid any confusion.

Cllr Loftus, a former engineer, said: “One concern I would have is if industrial waste is going to be used. I also have questions around the filtration systems. I have been told the fact the process is taking place at 1,400 degrees will destroy dioxins and furans. But the problem is if this is not maintained.”

He also expressed scepticism of the job the Environmental Protection Agency is doing.

Members of Limerick Against Pollution continued to ask questions of council planners into this evening.

The hearing, before Ann Bord Pleanala inspector Michael Dillon continues.