Local residents plea: ‘Cork Harbour has to be protected’

The campaign to stop an incinerator being built in Cork Harbour is stepping up a notch as efforts get under way to raise awareness in Cork City and to get companies to pledge financial support towards the cost of a judicial review.

Local residents plea: ‘Cork Harbour has to be protected’

The move comes nearly three weeks after An Bord Pleanála announced its decision to give Indaver Ireland the go-ahead for a controversial €160m 240,000 tonnes-per-annum waste incinerator at Ringaskiddy in Cork Harbour.

Harbour resident Sue Walsh, who together with husband Nick owns leading blind manufacturing company Acme Blinds, said they will be pledging support as a company.

She said as employers, they were concerned about how people live and work, and they had seen, first hand, while living abroad, the positive effects of cleaning up the San Francisco harbour area.

“Myself and Nick have a keen interest in all things maritime and we’ve seen how other harbours have been transformed,” Sue said. “Cork Harbour is at a turning point now in terms of its development, it will be expanding over the next few years, and for me, to build an incinerator there is such a retrograde step.

I think Cork Harbour has to be protected so that people can both live and work in the area.

Nick said he was of the view that the site in Ringaskiddy was the wrong one.

“Cork Harbour is unique,” he said. “I am a sailor and I think putting it between Cobh and Spike Island is not the right decision.”

Both Cobh and Spike Island are major tourist destinations. Spike Island was voted Europe’s number one tourist attraction last year.

Sue, who is a member of environmental lobby group Chase (Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment), is encouraging companies to join the campaign as Chase needs to raise between €150,000-€200,000 to fund a judicial review of the planning decision.

So far, close to €58,000 has been raised through a GoFundMe page.

Sue said a number of companies in Cork City have already pledged support, including Phelan’s Pharmacy, who have agreed to allow one of their shop windows, fronting onto Grand Parade, to act as an information point for city dwellers.

The Cobbler shoe repair shop has also pledged support. Cronin’s Bar in Crosshaven is selling campaign t-shirts and there are plans to expand sales to other outlets.

A meeting will take place in the Spailpín Fánach pub on South Main St in Cork City tonight, where items on the agenda include: Organising an awareness-raising campaign in Cork City, including building a support group and a fundraising network, and getting a committee together to manage fundraising for the judicial review.

An application for leave to apply for judicial review must be made within three months from the date when grounds for the application first arose.

Sue said they are particularly keen to get companies involved.

“The harbour is there for everyone to enjoy and we want to bring the issue into the city,” she said. “And we want to encourage businesses to get involved.”

Tonight’s meeting gets under way at 7pm.

Chase GoFundMe: ie.gofundme.com/no-incinerator-in-cork-harbour

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