On the eve of an oral hearing into plans for an incinerator in Ringaskiddy, Co Cork, the man driving the project for the past 16 years has admitted to “feeling sorry” for the residents of the area.
Indaver Ireland managing director John Ahern told the Irish Examiner that when they were looking for a location and the advisers recommended a site in Ringaskiddy he said: “Oh Jesus. Can it not just even be on the other side of Ringaskiddy so that we don’t have to go through their village?”
“I think they haven’t had a fair deal from the State in all of the years,” he said.
However, his conscience was eased with the advent of the N28, the national primary route connecting the port and village of Ringaskiddy to Cork City.
“The N28 comes, solves the problem, now it doesn’t matter which side of the village we are on. It was a good site without the N28, it’s the perfect site with it,” he said.
Mr Ahern said Indaver intended to plough €300,000 a year into the local community “for the next 25 years” if An Bord Pleanála gives the go-ahead for a 240,000 tonne waste-to-energy plant, which would process 100,000 tonnes of hazardous waste and 140,000 tonnes of municipal waste per annum.
“They’ll tell us to stuff it now but we can make a difference in Ringaskiddy,” Mr Ahern said. In fact, he hoped An Bord Pleanála would make a community fund a condition of planning.
“We don’t bribe our way in,” he said. “But if there is a planning condition imposed on us we’re going to say to the board, ‘remember the thing you did up in Meath [a community fund was a condition of planning for an incinerator in Duleek], we’d like you to do it here’.
“If €300,000 is being spent in the village and with Shamrocks [local GAA club] and all of the rest of them around, for the next 25 years, they can build level crossings or road crossings or bigger playgrounds or anything else that will make it easier.”
An oral hearing into the project gets under way in Carrigaline Court Hotel at 10am tomorrow.
Environmental group Chase (Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment) is planning a protest outside the venue from 9.40am. Una Chambers, spokeswoman for Chase, said it was “the third time in 15 years that the people of Cork Harbour have had to engage in this expensive exercise” which, to date, has cost them €280,000.
READ MORE: Indaver’s third attempt to build in Ringaskiddy.
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