Quenching the Burn

Pictures by Ferg Hayden.

Pictures by Ferg Hayden.

Legal fund to challenge the Poolbeg Incinerator now taking donations. Whispers that the legal challenge may actually happen have echoed around the community. Now there is an online fund available to contribute towards the challenging of the incinerator.

As I walk along the rim of the Shellybanks on a golden May morning and catch the shimmering light of the pleasant sun as it shines on what ought to be all that is great in this area. Distant walkers on the sand along the still sea enjoy a simple stroll on what seems like clean golden sands. Having being led here due to another sorry chapter in the saga of the Poolbeg Incinerator was ironic in the extreme.

Workers have just gone on spontaneous walkout due to some being unjustly laid-off by the method of a text to say words to the effect of ‘no more work’.

I have come down to see the people involved and later I find myself walking along the grass plains of Irishtown Nature Reserve attempting to take updated photos of the heinous operation while reflecting on the numerous steps of vested interests that have walked over the objections of locals, councillors, health experts and many concerned citizens over 20 years.

I think of government Acts that have taken away the power for local councillors to stop this monstrosity, of government Ministers who have removed levies to effectively give the project genesis, of millions spent on consultancy fees by Dublin City Council against their own people and of shadowy partnerships between our council and this private corporation known for its emission infringements across the USA.

The more I walk towards it, all I can perceive is this Cathedral of Wrongdoing rising up, reminding me exactly what is corrupted in the world.

And then I think of the years of struggle and the protest and the anger that the people have pushed back nobly against the corpocracy as they shout STOP, and of how that came to nothing but frustration, resentment and anxiety for the future.

Yet mostly it led to hopelessness and powerlessness and this is palpably hanging over Ringsend, Irishtown and Sandymount. All the effort against the toxic waste factory has stopped as we peek out between curtains looking up at the dystopian monster rising out of the sea and look disbelievingly across the tranquil sands. I wonder what Bloom would have said here.

Now it is left as planned by the Machiavellian corporates – for the community to squabble over the community ‘gain’ fund. Sickening to witness how easy it is to repeat the tricks played on hapless communities all over the world and see it so successfully pay off each time. Now they will watch as those who object to this fund fight with those who have reasoned to take something now that “nothing can be done.”

And as I get closer to the half-grinning monster I know the opposite to be true. As the community is in the stage of dividing itself I know that those organisations such as CRAI and SAMRA have been quietly searching for an answer. It has always been a possibility that the incinerator could be legally challenged on technical issues such as breach of its remit to take waste only from Dublin (it will need and take it from all of Ireland if not internationally eventually).

Pictures by Ferg Hayden.

Pictures by Ferg Hayden.

Whispers that the legal challenge may actually happen have echoed around the community, but the action has not been forthcoming due to the simple facts that the funds needed for it are lacking. Not that it wouldn’t have any grounds to stand, just the fact that there is no funding in place to take it to the high court. And there has been hopes that someone wealthy would stand up for community and put money forward for a bond – enough to take it to court and represent the community’s voice.

There is no rich benefactor out there willing to save our health, our air, our safety and our lives. Like this monster rising from the sea, we the people of the bay have to rise up from the embers and do it for ourselves. The crux is that it was simple all along. The price that the rich benefactor needed to save us and bring this to the courts is €80,000. The case is waiting, we just need the money. But the money can easily be achieved.

We have to apply the principles that a little from everybody can contribute to the whole. If all of us, not just from this area, but from the adjacent environs that need equal protection but are not yet aware of the danger, can awaken our passion for what is right and what we can do, then it is achievable.

It’s time for us to believe in numbers, to believe in togetherness, to believe in justice, to believe we can do it. One last push to the mountaintop just when they thought we were lying on the precipice waiting to fall.

There is now a fund waiting for you to contribute and it’s ready for your action. If everybody in the area can contribute something small but as much as they can, and if they can spread the word through social media where to find the fund, then this credible legal challenge can be launched, and a halt can be put on this toxic shadow over the people of Dublin. You can find the link to donate at: www.poolbegincinerator.com

By Ferg Hayden

Opinions expressed in NewsFour do not necessarily represent the views of Sandymount Community Services