Loophole strategy to help dump County Limerick gasification project

Gortadroma landfill

by Alan Jacques


Gortadroma landfill
Gortadroma landfill

FORMER Mayor Kevin Sheahan has called on Limerick City and County Council to find a legal loophole in the lease for Gortadroma landfill to prevent a US company developing a gasification plant at the site.

Speaking at this Tuesday’s Adare/Rathkeale municipal district meeting, the Fianna Fail councillor said he was sorry not to have opposed the Cadence EnviroPower (CEP) bid from day one. However, he made it clear that he now stands united with local residents in their opposition to the proposed gasification facility.

“Give them back their €50,000 and tell them thanks, but no thanks,” he told the council executive.

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Cllr Sheahan also raised question marks over whether the local authority had staff adequately qualified to deal with the issue of gasification and its implications for the people of West Limerick.

“It is unfair to the people in the Environment Department that they’ve been thrown into the deep end. We need suitably qualified consultants. I’ve been told that there’s no such thing as gasification, it’s just incineration by another name and I would prefer the advice of experts.

“I am concerned and the people are concerned. I am not rabble-rousing, I am just stating the concerns of local people, and I’ve heard from around 200 of them. There is strong opposition to this plan with posters up out as far as Newcastle West,” he said.

Director of the Adare-Rathkeale municipal district, Tom Gilligan, pointed out that Cadence EnviroPower (CEP) had taken “ownership” of the situation and organised a public meeting in Shanagolden this Thursday evening to allay fears and answer questions about the proposed gasification facility. The meeting will take place at 6.30pm in the parish hall.

“They are a reputable US company with dealings in other parts of the world,” he explained.

Fine Gael councillor Stephen Keary said he was willing to give CEP’s proposal its due process. He insisted that the issue was a “highly politicised” one with people in certain parties trying to make political gain at the aim of ordinary people.

“This is grossly unfair. We were lead to believe there will be 140 substantial jobs which will be a huge benefit,” said Cllr Keary.

He also lambasted the Limerick Post, once again, for reporting councillors’ €10,128 trip to France to visit a gasification plant that was not fully operational at the time.

Fianna Fail councillor Richard O’Donoghue maintained that CEP needed to speed things up but said that he had the utmost confidence in the council’s environment section and the EPA to protect us.

“There’s no one in this room qualified to talk about it,” said Cllr O’Donoghue.