What the People say :
Jim Long: ‘It is very sad to write that we are standing alone against the very system put in place to protect us.’ (Letter to Limerick Post, 28 April 2018)
Kate Brouder: (Laurel Hill student) ‘I can’t believe that Irish Cement are going to be allowed to burn all sorts of toxic industrial waste so close to the city centre. How can they pretend to us that this is okay? I’m only 13 years of age, and even I know burning things like tyres and plastics is not good for my health.’ (Speech at Family Protest March, 13 May 2018)
Willie O’Dea to Dr Mai Mannix: ‘I have spoken to hundreds of Limerick people who have genuine concerns about the potential health implications if Irish Cement are given permission to burn toxic materials in their Mungret plant. As a public representative, I would like to encourage you to follow through on all the commitments you have given to Limerick against Pollution.’ Willie O’Dea T.D. in a letter to Dr Mai Mannix, (Limerick Leader, 7, Oct. 2017)
Mary Hammill: The HSE have not looked after the women of Ireland and I am referring to the recent Cervical Check scandal. And do not for one moment believe that you will be looked after if things go wrong with these incinerations plans of CRH/Irish Cement. (Speech at Family Protest March, 13 May 2018)
Senator Kieran O’Donnell: ‘The Minister should be aware of the concern among the public. A march is being organised by people in Limerick city this Saturday. These people have genuine concerns. They are reasonable people with young families living in Dooradoyle, Raheen, the Mungret area where the Irish Cement plant is located and other areas. (Seanad Éireann, 8 March 2017)
Nick Rabbitts: As the march progressed, demonstrators chanted: “Limerick City, full of grace; County Council, your disgrace”, in reference to the grant of planning permission. “Smog and poison everywhere, Irish Cement we despair,” also followed. The crowd – including many children – were also given masks covering their mouths to wear. (Limerick Leader, 11 March 2017)
Nuala & Pat Geoghegan: the Government needs to have this immunity/protection in place for the EPA, when they are forcing through risky issues like incineration. A key part of the decision-making process is that no one in the EPA is held accountable once the licence is granted, and there is no long-term responsibility for damage caused to the environment or human health. Essentially, this divests the state of any liability should a decision prove to be a bad one. (Letter to Limerick Leader, 8 April 2017).
Liadh Ní Riadh: I will use my networks in Europe to advocate on your behalf. Having a clean and safe environment to live in is one of the most fundamental human rights we enjoy. Being able to breathe without inhaling damaging and carcinogenic toxins is such an obvious and basic necessity of life. (Limerick Post, 27, May 2017).
Angus Mitchell: Mr Gilmore argued that the for-profit incineration of rubbish is vital for the ‘future of the plant’; but what about the future of the planet? What about the future of Limerick? Being paid to burn industrial waste may be a profitable plan for Irish Cement, but at what cost to the health and reputation of this city? (Limerick Leader, 22 April 2017).
City mayor James Collins: We can’t sit back and allow Irish Cement to proceed with its incineration proposals when clearly there are huge public concerns about emissions from the Irish Cement plant in Mungret carrying on the wind for a radius of 20km. We are literally talking about the health of thousands of people in Limerick. We’ve had an oral hearing on the planning issues surrounding Irish Cement, but we haven’t had an oral hearing dealing specifically with the health implications of allowing incineration at the Mungret plant. The HSE didn’t even give testimony to the last oral hearing. Surely now, they can see this is a public health issue of major concern.” (Limerick Post, 14 Dec. 2018).
Sinn Féin councillor Malachy McCreesh also voiced his anger at An Bord Pleanála’s decision. He believes that allowing “hazardous waste to be incinerated” at the Mungret facility, will present future generations with possible far reaching health impacts, “due to likely emission of dioxins and furans”. (Limerick Post, 19 April 2018).
Mary Hammill: Exposure to the chemicals is bad for all of us but it is the children in particular that I worry about and the reason I am involved in this campaign. I do not wish them to grow up looking forward to hormonal disturbances, fertility problems, heart & lung problems and cancer. As adults we owe them more than this. (Love our Air, 1 May 2017)
Metropolitan mayor Daniel Butler commented that the latest request for more information highlights the casual and haphazard work practices of Irish Cement. I am satisfied to see that the EPA has drilled down on its submission in relation to the Bunlicky lake and water quality related issues as highlighted by LAP. Also, the further information in relation to greenhouse gases and the noise is of particular importance to our community. This reinforces our stance on the issue from the very beginning. The numerous concerns we expressed are being borne out in the questions from the EPA and the shortcomings they too are highlighting,” he said. (Limerick Leader, 19 Feb. 2019)
Dr Kevin Kelleher, Assistant National Director of Public Health/childhealth Strategic Planning & Transformation has recently said in a letter “there is no environmental or planning legislation that obliges the HSE to assess and monitor on an ongoing basis the risk to human health from a particular site specific development following the granting of planning permission”. (Letter to Niall Collins T.D., 9 May 2018)