Ringaskiddy locals and students join Cork incinerator protest

Indaver plan risks damage to health and to National Maritime College’s reputation - lecturer

Staff and students from the National Maritime College of Ireland marched with locals from Ringaskiddy Community Centre to the site of the proposed Indaver Ireland incinerator, adjacent to the college (top centre of image). File photograph: Google Street View

Staff and students from the National Maritime College of Ireland marched with locals from Ringaskiddy Community Centre to the site of the proposed Indaver Ireland incinerator, adjacent to the college (top centre of image). File photograph: Google Street View

 

Locals living in the Cork Harbour area joined students and staff at the National Maritime College of Ireland on Thursday to protest over plans by waste management company Indaver Ireland for a €160 million twin incinerator in Ringaskiddy.

Staff and students from the NMCI marched with locals from Ringaskiddy Community Centre to the site of the proposed incinerator, adjacent to the NMCI and the Irish Maritime and Energy Resource Cluster involving University College Cork, Cork Institute of Technology and the Irish Naval Service.

According to engineering lecturer at NMCI, Jody Power, staff and students are concerned about the health implications of having a 160,000-tonne twin incinerator on their doorsteps as well as the impact it will have on the NMCI’S attracting students.

“Our first main concern is the health issue - there’s a plethora of research highlighting the health dangers associated with mass waste incineration - we have no idea what’s going to be going into this incinerator, so we have no idea what is going to be coming out.

‘Reputational damage’

“Our second concern is the reputational damage to the NMCI - we have spent 10 years building it up into the present world-class facility, and now we are going to put antediluvian mass incineration technology on our doorstep - it’s bound to affect the reputation of the NMCI,” he said.

An Bord Pleanála previously refused planning permission for a twin incinerator at Ringaskiddy in 2011, but in December, it ruled that Indaver could apply for planning permission for the twin incinerator project under the terms of the Strategic Infrastructure Development.

Indaver Ireland applied for planning permission in January for a 200,000-tonne municipal waste incinerator and a 40,000-tonne hazardous waste incinerator at the 12-hectare site, located just across the road from the entrance to the NMCI.

The closing date for objections to the new incinerator plan is March 9th.

On Thursday, Indaver Ireland managing director John Ahern moved to ease safety concerns over the new plant in the wake of an explosion last Friday at an Indaver incinerator in Antwerp in Belgium.

Speaking on The Opinion Line with PJ Coogan on Cork’s 96FM, Mr Ahern said no one was injured in the Belgian explosion, which occurred when materials being transported to the incinerator in a tanker reacted and caused the tanker to go on fire. The fire was contained on site, he said.

The Antwerp plant was dealing with petrochemical waste which would not be dealt with at the Cork plant, but even if Cork was dealing with such waste and there was a similar-type incident, the only impact on people at the NMCI would be that they would have to remain indoors for a few hours, he said.