Minister to be quizzed about harbour toxic dump




Minister for the Environment Phil Hogan is set to be grilled about the Government’s plans to address the massive toxic dump in Cork Harbour.

The minister is due to address Cork County Council when he visits on May 9.

There is an estimated 500,000 tonnes of toxic waste dumped on the former Irish Steel site on Haulbowline, raising fears that it could be linked to high cancer rates in nearby Cobh.

Earlier this month, the European Commission gave the Government three months to take action to clean up the dump, or be taken to court.

At County Hall yesterday, Cobh Independent councillor Seán O’Connor made an official request that time be set aside for harbour representatives to discuss the plans for the dump with Minister Hogan.

The minister will visit Kinsale and Bandon before addressing members in County Hall.

Labour councillor John Mulvihill said that despite the recent ruling by the EU Commission, there was still no clear sign that the dump would be cleaned up.

He said locals wouldn’t be satisfied until the waste was removed and a health study conducted to examine if there was a link between high cancer rates and the toxic waste.

“A committee was set up more than a year ago. The present Minister for Health, James Reilly, gave his support for a health study when he was in Cobh before the election.

“We still have not been told what will be done about it, despite the EU Commission ruling that action must be taken,” he said.

County manager Martin Riordan said he had not received a progress report from the committee set up to examine future uses for the site.

It is expected that the committee will report to Government soon.

Mr Riordan said he would seek a report from the committee.

Article courtesy of the Evening Echo newspaper.


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