Babies in buggies, grannies in geansais emblazoned with the slogan ‘No to toxic waste incineration’, hazmat suits, and lots of surgical masks — the carpark of the Carrigaline Court Hotel resembled a bizarre mix of playground fare and the post-apocalyptic as hundreds of people protested against plans to build an incinerator locally.

The 400-strong turnout, representative of those living and working in the Lower Cork Harbour area, were intent on sending a clear message to those proposing to build the €160m incinerator in their back yard.

Bearing posters which variously read ‘Your health, your harbour’, ‘No to incineration’, and ‘Cobh says no’, the protesters marched around the carpark and in and out of the hotel gates to the strains of “No to incineration as we know there’s a better way”, sung to the tune of ‘Glory, glory Hallelujah’.

Dressed in a hazmat suit, Una Chambers, spokeswoman for the Carrigaline branch of Chase (Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment) said they were delighted with the turnout.

Wearing a sweatshirt with skull and crossbones and ‘No to toxic waste incineration’, Gertie O’Driscoll, a Ringa-skiddy resident, said they would fight the incinerator plans to the end.

“It flies in the face of all the plans they have to develop tourism in Cork harbour” she said.

The occasion was the first day of an An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into proposals by Indaver Ireland to build a waste-to-energy facility, processing 240,000 tonnes per annum, on Ringaskiddy peninsula. It is the third time the company has lodged a planning application since 2001.

Chase chairwoman Mary O’Leary said opposition to the site is stronger than ever.

“This is clearly visible in the number of people who have turned out today and by their palpable anger at having to again face this proposal in this completely unsuitable location,” she said.

The hearing continues.


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