March against Poolbeg Incinerator


The objections to the Poolbeg Incinerator continued recently when local residents marched from Ringsend to Dáil Éireann on Wednesday 22nd October.

A good starting group gathered outside Ringsend Church to begin their long march to the Dáil, highlighting their opposition to the planned Poolbeg Incinerator. It was a peaceful march with up to 200 people attending, and was organised by Combined Residents Against Incineration, who represent locals who have been objecting to an incinerator in Poolbeg since its inception over 16 years ago.

Several community groups’ representation were in attendance as well as Councillors Clare Byrne, Chris Andrews, and Pat McCartan. Councillors Dermot Lacey and Kieran Binchy joined the march at the Dáil due to prior commitments. Claire Byrne reflected many people’s concerns when she said that that “the incinerator was wrong on many issues such as the scale, location, and that it would destroy recycling.” Chris Andrews echoed the recycling point, while Dermot Lacey reminded NewsFour that “the recent Prime Time report on RTE was incorrect saying we voted for it on one occasion, as the councillors have always voted against this project.” Paddy McCartan predicted Covanta “would go on a charm offensive soon, pointing out all the beneficial effects.”

CRAI’s Chairperson Frances Corr emphasised that this small march was just a start and that many people in the area are opposed to the incinerator. Corr stated that “the support is there” for the movement against the incinerator, yet “we need to see feet on the street.” Corr added that “we can beat this, but we need the support.” The support she is referring to is also financial, as CRAI are ready to launch a legal challenge and are double checking with legal counsel on how to challenge the incinerator. Support from the locals and beyond would be needed to keep the legal challenge going.

Many locals told NewsFour about a range of issues of their reasons for objecting to the incinerator. Joe McCann of the Docklands Senior Forum stated that “this is a poisonous thing that we shouldn’t have in the area.” McCann added the incinerator was a “blot on the landscape,” and that “we don’t want to be importing Europe’s waste which is what is going to happen, as there is not enough waste for it in Ireland.” McCann pointed out that food grown within 2km of incinerators cannot gain an organic certification. “What does that tell you,” he asked rhetorically.

Ringsend local Mary Caulfield, emphasised a common theme that “the incinerator represented a democratic deficit,” referring to the councillors numerous votes against the incinerator, and added that “the excrement of the city is being put in our backyard. These waste trucks are also going to be coming over a bridge that isn’t fit for a bicycle.”

Ian Dunne said that “this was throwing good money after bad” and reminded NewsFour that “a Norwegian expert in incineration who visited locals confirmed that there are two accidents per year in an incineration plant.” Dunne painted the picture that there “would be huge difficulty for fire brigade access as there is only road in, and what if there was a match in Lansdowne Road?”

Tom Crilly of the Spellman Centre noted that people were upset that “none of our elected TDs came out of Dáil Éireann to greet the protesters, which would be the normal practice.”

Rory Hearne and Frances Corr of CRAI gave a brief report to the group gathered at Dáil Éireann and agreed to organise a follow up meeting tomorrow at 8.p.m. in Clanna Gael’s meeting hall. Many people were agitating to block the trucks building the incinerator right now, as was announced previously on NewsFour. That will be discussed along with other issues at tomorrow’s meeting.

Many locals also wished to thank the local Gardaí for escorting the march along the route.

By Ferg Hayden