Poolbeg Incinerator - Build credibility

It is more than unlikely that a plant as complicated as the Poolbeg incinerator in Dublin could be commissioned without even a minor glitch — and that glitch occurred on Wednesday night.

Thankfully it was a minor incident and nine of the 11 people hospitalised were released more or less immediately. Two others were kept overnight for observation.

The incident does though point to a strand of our culture that we should work to change.

Our regulatory agencies in nearly every field are so underwhelming, so implausible, and coincidentally under-resourced, that it is very difficult for the public to believe that regulators appointed to protect the common good are equal to the task.

It is sometimes hard to believe that the public oversight needed is in place.

Not only does this cause disquiet when a project as divisive as an incinerator is proposed, it creates delays that can seem inordinate for many perfectly good developments.

If regulatory agencies were properly resourced, it would be easier to have faith in the system and embrace new projects.

That would be, it seems, a win-win situation.


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