herald

Wednesday 29 March 2017

No probe on cancer scare garda mast

GARDAI have not carried out any investigation into a possible link between a radio mast erected on a Dublin station and the high instances of cancer in the immediate area.

Locals living near Ronans-town Garda Station were under the impression that senior gardai had ordered an inquiry into potential links between the masts and the fact that nine officers based there have suffered brain cancer.

But the Herald has learned that no such investigation has taken place.

For more than a year now, members of Mast Action Clondalkin (MAC) have campaigned for the removal of the mobile phone mast which, they say, is responsible for 37 cancer cases in the immediate area.

Group member, Gino Kelly told the Herald yesterday that top officials from Garda Headquarters in the Phoenix Park had met with locals, and given "the impression they are quite worried". But he noted that they wouldn't release details of a report relating to the mast compiled for gardai.

However, the Herald has since learned that no such report actually exists.

When questioned about the conclusions of the supposed report, a gardai spokesperson admitted: "No investigation has been carried out by or on behalf of the Garda Siochana."

Mr Kelly fumed: "It has to be abnormal, but it's like hitting your head on a stone wall for us. For that amount of police officers to be sick or dying has to be abnormal. We are also trying to challenge the HSE to get a full study done but we've been waiting about three months for a response."

Coincidence

Members of the group met with Minister for Health, Mary Harney last year and were hopeful that the HSE would commission a study into the area, but so far this appeal has fallen on deaf ears.

"A doctor went through the study we've done and dismissed the whole thing, so we met with an environmental doctor for South Dublin County Council, but she said it was nothing to do with the mast. She said it was either a lifestyle thing or coincidence," explained Mr Kelly.

He added: "Ultimately, we want a proper, professional investigation. It might not be the mast, it might be lifestyle, but we need to know for definite to put people's minds at ease."

The Office of Public Works (OPW), which decided to put the mast in the station, insists that it is within EU guidelines and they refute the idea that the mast is responsible for cancer cases in the area.

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