May 23: Councillors’ trip not money wisely spent

Reader Christy Kelly contends that the factfinding misison to France re the proposed gasification plant in Gortadroma achieved nothing and was money poorly spent
I am following with interest the proposed gasification plant at Gortadroma landfill site and what appears to be the subsequent futile fact-finding visit undertaken by local councillors to a gasification plant in France that appears to bear little resemblance to what is proposed at Gortadroma.

I am following with interest the proposed gasification plant at Gortadroma landfill site and what appears to be the subsequent futile fact-finding visit undertaken by local councillors to a gasification plant in France that appears to bear little resemblance to what is proposed at Gortadroma.

Before embarking on such a serious and important trip for the area affected, it ought to have been incumbent on those councillors to have researched and familiarised themselves with all aspects of such a plant in relation to specifications, environmental regulations, environmental impact, public health, safety and other related issues affecting the local community, so as to be in a position to report back in an accurate and meaningful way.

In respect of that, and considering that this trip did not seem to have achieved anything apart from what it cost in public funds, I consider it extraordinary and irresponsible that the Mayor of Limerick, Cllr Kevin Sheahan, is reported as having proposed that “another delegation should carry out an unannounced inspection of an operational gasification plant”. A proposal that was seconded and agreed on by fellow councillors.

How on earth do they expect that they could undertake an un-announced inspection to such a plant without a pre arrangement being put in place? Do they not even understand the protocol to be observed in such an inspection and knowledge gathering exercise? It is not as if that they are planning to go to their local bog to check on their plot of turf. The plant suggested being in America. What would that cost and what would it achieve apart from they being turned back at the entrance gate or even arrested for trying to enter that plant without permission?

This shows how little they know about the various relevant issues involved in such a plant and despite their individual life experiences, they do not appear to be sufficiently qualified to allay any fears that locals may have on this proposed plant. Yet they are seemingly prepared to spend further public money on a proposed trip to a plant that they would not be allowed into under their proposal, a proposal that certainly does not inspire confidence.

CHRISTY KELLY

TEMPLEGLANTINE, CO LIMERICK