I am a 15-year-old student at Coláiste Muire, Cobh and I am the chairperson of our Green Schools committee.
The Green Schools programme aims to raise awareness about the environment inside and outside of our school.
My school is 65m above sea level and is located to the south-east of Ringaskiddy.
The same direction as the prevailing winds. This means that if the incinerator is built in Ringaskiddy, the emissions from the incinerator, which contain carbon dioxides, PCDs, and heavy metals, all of which are toxic and can cause impairment of the immune, hormonal and reproductive systems, will be blowing directly onto our school on most days.
Directly adjacent to our school is an all-boys primary school and an all-girls primary school. It seems shocking to me that five-year-old children will be exposed to these carcinogenic fumes five days a week during their school terms. How would anyone feel if their child attended one of these schools? Cork already has the highest cancer rates in the country.
An Bord Pleanála is appointed by the Government, therefore the Government is to be held responsible for their actions. I hold public representatives responsible for letting this happen. Everyone on this island believes that those who are meant to represent them have failed to do so.
I have a Junior Cert to concern myself over. However, it does seem strange that a 15-year-old boy should have to worry about his future, his safety and the safety of his friends and family.
It’s up to our representatives to do what it right and to truly represent us by stopping the incinerator from being constructed in Ringaskiddy.