Irish solution to an Irish problem: bury it

YOUR editorial headlined ‘Dust could be a threat’ (December 8) horrified me, to say the least.

You say that excavations on the east tip of Haulbowline in Cork harbour have exposed sludge material which, when dried out, will form dust which could become airborne. Consultants have recommended that the area be backfilled.

An Irish solution to an Irish problem: bury it.

Last autumn, when we had very high tides and very heavy rain for days, most of Haulbowline was flooded and contaminated water poured off the island and into the river.

Now the consultants’ report says “there were elevated levels of mercury, arsenic and nickel and high lead levels were found in mussels taken from the river”.

The consultants did not consider the Irish Steel plant to be the source of this pollution. Where did they think it came from? Chernobyl?

It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to realise that the sludge got washed into the river during high tides and heavy rainfall.

And now, given the poor state of public finances, it is thought likely the Government will backfill the excavation as recommended by the consultants and put everything on the long finger once again. Meanwhile high tides and heavy rainfall will continue to wash this poison into the river.

Jack O’Loughlin

Kilcoran Park

Youghal

Co Cork

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