herald

Monday 26 September 2016

Poolbeg 'eye-sore' is an 'abomination' say locals

The development
The development

Controversy continues to surround the construction of the new €350m incinerator at Poolbeg in Dublin.

Residents of Sandymount, Ringsend and Irishtown who spoke to the Herald said they remain "unhappy" and "disappointed" that the huge plant was given approval.

It is intended the incinerator will become operational at the end of next year.

The project, which has been delayed by years of controversy, will see the construction of a multi-million euro facility that has the capacity to burn 600,000 tonnes of waste a year.

Work on the Dublin 4 site began in October last year, despite Dublin city councillors voting to scrap the proposed incinerator.

The company behind the project, New Jersey-based waste firm Covanta, is expected to spend almost €500m on development.

The Poolbeg incinerator plant was first proposed in 1997 but has faced numerous legal and political challenges, including an unsuccessful complaint made to the European Commission.

City councillors at several junctures voted down the proposed incinerator, but the decision to proceed was taken by four Dublin local authority chief executives - including former Dublin City Manager Owen Keegan and management.

However, locals are not convinced that it is the best option for the city.

"The incinerator is an abomination and looks much bigger already than what I expected," said life-long Sandymount resident Michael Flynn (60).

Tara Murphy (50) said she thought the incinerator was "already an eye-sore".

Edel Vaughan from Sandymount said she was satisfied health concerns about the incinerator had been cleared up.

Local man Tommy Walsh (79) was worried the busy incinerator will mean that traffic on local roads "will be murder".

Liam Tilly (81) from Ringsend also agreed that the plant will "cause havoc" with local traffic.

But Victor Levingstone (70), a volunteer beach cleaner in Sandymount, said that the incinerator has the potential to become part of Dublin's cultural history.

"We need to catch up with the rest of Europe," he said.

"On a visit to beautiful Vienna, I saw their incinerator was in the middle of the city and it was on its tourist trail.Incinerators are in cities all over Europe and they are not causing problems."

Fund

Irishtown mother-of-two Maria Moloney (43) said the new plant was "a huge monstrosity" which should not have been placed in one of the most densely populated parts of Ireland.

The Herald recently revealed that Dublin City's chief executive added an extra €3,000 to the proposed annual allowance of the chair of a controversial community fund.

Peter McLoone was appointed chairman of the Poolbeg Community Gain Fund in May 2015, on an annual allowance of €15,000. However, email correspondence shows Mr McLoone offered to do the job for at least €3,000 less.

Derek Murphy (73) from Irishtown was totally against any payment for the post, which he said should be occupied on "a wholly voluntary basis".

Sandymount mother-of-two Deirdre Cunningham (44) said the incinerator building was already "profoundly ugly" and the fund should pay for "thousands of trees" to help block the view of the plant.

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