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Thursday 29 September 2016

Angry residents look to law to stop Poolbeg plan

planning

General view of attendee addressing the Public meeting against the Poolbeg Incinerator. Clan na Gael GAA Club, Ringsend, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn
General view of attendee addressing the Public meeting against the Poolbeg Incinerator. Clan na Gael GAA Club, Ringsend, Dublin. Picture: Caroline Quinn

Residents across the Dublin Bay area have started a campaign to raise €80,000 for a legal battle over the Poolbeg incinerator.

Combined Residents Against Incineration (CRAI) held a public meeting on Thursday night, which was attended by locals from Clontarf, Irishtown, Ringsend, Sandymount and Dun Laoghaire.

The plant, known as Dublin Waste to Energy (DWtE), is a public-private partnership (PPP) between Dublin City Council (DCC) and New-Jersey based contractor Covanta.

After its first proposal 17 years ago, it got the final go-ahead last September.

Locals have long feared the impact of the incinerator on their health and after taking legal advice feel they have a strong case to stop the plant.

CRAI will seek to take legal action on alleged breaches of planning by DWtE.

"We can stop it but the only way at this stage is through the courts," said Frances Corr, secretary of CRAI.

The group feels there have allegedly been two breaches in planning by the partnership.

At an estimated construction cost of between €500m and €600m, DWtE will have a capacity to process 600,000 tonnes of waste annually.

People Before Profit TD Richard Boyd-Barrett said that a large public campaign is needed to raise funds for the legal action. He said he stood by the residents.

A protest will take place on June 4 at the Sean Moore roundabout between Irishtown and Strand Road in Sandymount.

A number of events, with well-known faces, are also planned.

As of April 30, a community gains fund will have €2m in it.

Residents on Thursday night strongly objected to it.

"We don't want anything to do with that, we are not going near that money," stated one.

Obstacles

DCC CEO Owen Keegan was unable to attend the meeting.

In total there will be €10.6m in the fund by the time the incinerator is built. Construction began on it last November.

The project has hit numerous financial, legal and political obstacles over the past eight years, since it was originally granted planning permission.

It cleared its final hurdle last summer when it was approved by the National Development Finance Agency and contracts were signed by Mr Keegan, despite opposition from a majority of city councillors.

Neither Covanta nor DCC replied to queries from the Herald.

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