Sorting Out The Rubbish

 

Sir, - The article on waste management (March 6th) by your correspondent Frank McDonald requires a reply in the interest of accuracy and justice for the people of Ringsend, Irishtown, Sandymount and Merrion.

Your reporter may not be old enough to remember that the now so-called Poolbeg Peninsula is in fact the former city dump. For over 25 years, the people of this area (and in particular from 1974 onwards) suffered an open-air waste heap of indescribable filth. The clinker and hardened sludge from the old sewage works and the by-products of slaughter houses are in that dump.

We have had an incinerator and a waste factory for animal products for decades in Ringsend. Remember that smell?

Of approximately 360 acres claimed by the town's ordure, about 10 per cent was given back to us as park land, our playing pitches at Sean Moore Park and Irishtown Nature Park. (The latter is enjoyed daily by some well-known media personalities.) The proposed site for the incinerator is 35 metres from Irishtown Nature Park. It is 700 metres from ReHab at Roslyn Park and certainly much less than half a kilometre from a nearby factory.

As well as all this, when the wind is easterly we endure clouds of concrete dust from the concrete crushing premises on the Poolbeg.

We doubt the local authority's ability to manage waste on the peninsula for the following reasons: in late November 1998 there was a huge discharge of a highly caustic substance from the Poolbeg onto the shore at Sandymount, documented and reported to the gardai at Irishtown garda station and the EPA; from January 6th, 1999, a constant small stream of light oil ran onto the same area of the shore up to June 1999; on Good Friday 1999, someone discharged a vat of very strong acid (almost pH2) onto the same part of the shore a short distance from where our playing fields are.

All this was photographed by us and reported to the gardai. The same shore area is a major feeding ground for over-wintering migratory wildfowl and that is a situation we photograph regularly. This same area is reeking of oil at present.

This community accepts the utilities, as it has always done, and we feel we have done more for Dublin's waste than any other community in Dublin. As Deputy Eoin Ryan has said: "Our back yard is full." - Yours, etc.,

Mrs Frances A. Corr, Public Relations Officer, Combined Residents Against Incineration, Sandymount, Dublin 4.