Crowdfunding campaign raises funds for legal challenge to Cork Harbour incinerator

Published by Leigh McGowran on

June 6th, 2018

A crowdfunding campaign to raise funds for a legal challenge against a planned incinerator in Cork Harbour has collected over €37,000 in five days.

The GoFundMe campaign was started by Cork Harbour for A Safe Environment (CHASE) to raise funds to take a judicial review to the High Court regarding the recent decision by An Bord Pleanála (ABP) to approve the development of the controversial incinerator in Ringaskiddy.

CHASE said they will need between €150,000 to €200,000 to fund their legal costs, and estimate that they will need €100,000 by July 12th in order to proceed.

They have been fighting against the planned €160 million waste incinerator since it was first proposed by Indaver Ireland in 2001.

This is the third time a proposal for an incinerator in Ringaskiddy has been pushed by Indaver. The proposal was approved by ABP last week against the recommendation of the Oral Hearing Inspector.

CHASE said Inspector Derek Daly gave five grounds for his recommendation, including air quality, air travel safety, inconsistency with surrounding development in the harbour, lack of consideration of alternative sites and overdevelopment of the site itself.

CHASE said previous inspectors also rejected the suitability of the site in Indaver’s two earlier proposals.

After the points were considered, ABP stated that the development was in line with European, national, and regional waste management policy.

ABP’s decision comes just weeks after the EU approved new circular economy policies that require Member States to prioritise prevention, re-use and recycling above incineration.

Indaver was granted 10-year planning permission and a 30-year lifespan for the incinerator, which is expected to take in 240,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Liadh Ní Riada speaking at an environmental event in 2017 Photo: Niall Sargent

Liadh Ní Riada speaking at an environmental event in 2017 Photo: Niall Sargent

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada said she is deeply concerned by ABP’s decision, noting that locals’ concerns about the project have not been addressed.

“It is quite clear that there is massive local opposition to these proposals and when it comes down to it nothing should be forced on a community without their consent,” Ms Ní Riada said.

The Cork native added that 30,000 letters of objection were received in 2001, and Cork County Councillors “overwhelmingly rejected” a rezoning application by Indaver in 2003.

CHASE recently filed a complaint against Ireland to the European Parliament over the issue. The groups took two previous complaints to the EU in 2008 and 2010 over the Irish State’s failure to carry out an assessment of the effects the project may have on the environment.

CHASE Chairperson Mary O’Leary said: “The approach of the Irish Government in attempting to create further barriers to participation and access to justice will serve to reduce public participation in the planning process.”

Ms Ní Riada said the current dispute is “far from over” and she will be working with CHASE and other community groups to help “fight for [a] safe environment in Cork”.

“Indaver have had 18 years to work with the community and they have failed to do so, preferring to instead go over the heads of local people with legal appeals and new applications.” Ms Ní Riada said.

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Leigh McGowran

Leigh is a final year Journalism student at DCU with interests in the environment, radio presenting and film reviews.