Protest over waste incinerator brings traffic to standstill
RUSH hour commuters in the capital were caught in gridlock yesterday as a protest against the planned Poolbeg incinerator brought traffic to a standstill.
Around 50 people marched around the Sean Moore roundabout and Sean Moore Road, Ringsend shortly after 5pm.
Gardai arrived at the scene after frustrated motorists started driving over grass verges and embankments in a bid to bypass the demonstration.
Protesters tried to cool tensions with angry commuters by offering them ice-cream as a form of peace offering.
Local man Sean Caulfield (74) said he has been fighting against plans for the waste incinerator for 17 years and will continue to fight as the construction work continues.
"This is anti-democratic - 50 out of 52 Dublin city councillors have voted against this, and it is still going ahead. It is a disgrace," he said.
"We don't have the infrastructure here to deal with the influx of trucks that will be bringing in the rubbish.
"We are told they will be burning up to 600,000 metric tonnes a year here. They will have to start importing it from other countries to make it financially viable," he said.
Richard Boyd Barrett TD, addressing the rally, said: "Incineration is not the way forward for waste. Instead, we need to expand our recycling facilities with proper dividing up of waste, which would create hundreds of jobs.
"The incinerator will have the capacity to burn 600,000 metric tonnes of waste.
"But in 2012 Ireland only produced 250,000 tonnes, this means that for this facility to burn to capacity and create the energy planned we will have to either stop recycling or start importing waste - this is madness."
US-based waste firm Covanta expect to start operations in the second half of 2017.
The project was approved by the National Development Finance Agency and contracts were signed by Dublin cityCouncil authorities.
"Why is this being allowed to be built when the people and politicians don't want it? Not to mention the health effects for everyone in the city," said Sandymount resident John Whipple.
"Fumes from this place will contain dioxins that will spread all over Dublin," he added.