Planning authorities are to rule today on whether the country’s first commercial toxic waste incinerator can be built near Cork harbour.
Indaver Ireland has sought permission to build a facility with the capacity to process up to 100,000 tonnes of hazardous waste per year at Ringaskiddy.
However, the plans have been vehemently opposed by more than 20 local pressure groups.
Oscar-winning actor Jeremy Irons, who owns the nearby 15th century Kilcoe Castle, was among those who spoke out against the development at a four-week public hearing in Cork last September.
Indaver’s planning application was the biggest ever dealt with by Cork County Council, which voted to block the €70m project last May.
The company appealed against the council’s decision to An Bord Pleanála, and in September senior planning inspector Philip Jones was appointed to chair a hearing on the project.
The hearing heard evidence that the company’s 30-acre site at Ringaskiddy was ideal for the incinerator, and that it would be entirely safe.
But 24 groups campaigning against the project insisted the project should be rejected because the surrounding area is densely-populated and already has a high concentration of chemical and pharmaceutical industries.
Mr Jones’s report was considered in detail before An Bord Pleanála made its decision.