COMMUNITIES around Cork Harbour will be bitterly disappointed to learn that the €61m budget for cleaning up the old Irish Steel plant on Haulbowline, an unsightly source of toxic pollution going back decades, will not be enough to transform the site into a major public recreation amenity. For years, they have campaigned to see its potential fully realised.
But, according to a senior government official, quoted in documents released under Freedom of Information legislation, there is not enough money in the kitty to complete the project, beyond carrying out remediation works on the toxic dump left after years of steel production. The loss-making venture was initially owned by the State, which sold it on to India’s biggest steel manufacturer for the nominal sum of £1.
The failure to secure sufficient funds to complete the project follows decades of environmental neglect in the lower reaches of the harbour where people seem to have been fighting endlessly to force polluters to clean up their act.
They should not be forced to await another election and more cynical promises of the amenity funding they need now.
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