European Parliament complaint against Limerick councillors

Election candidate for County Limerick, Mark Keogh

by Alan Jacques

Election candidate for County Limerick, Mark Keogh
Election candidate for County Limerick, Mark Keogh

A COMPLAINT will be made to the European Parliament alleging that councillors in the Adare/Rathkeale municipal district did not adhere to their own code of conduct in relation to the Gortadroma landfill lease agreement with US consortium Cadence EnviroPower.

Irish Democratic Party general election candidate for County Limerick, Mark Keogh, is lodging a complaint against the six area representatives: Emmett O’Brien; Tom Neville; Stephen Keary; Kevin Sheahan; Ciara McMahon and Richard O’Donoghue.

The Shanagolden election hopeful has criticised the councillors for their lack of regard for the ‘Precautionary Principle’, which is part of the Aarhus Convention 2012 and accuses them of breaching its code of conduct.

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“All six democratically elected members of Limerick City and County Council voted in favour of a lease being offered to Cadence EnviroPower for the construction of a gasification plant on the landfill site in Gortadroma. The process of the voting and granting of the lease to Cadence EnviroPower was carried out in ten minutes without proper information being gathered and studied on the company in question or the gasification process,” Mr Keogh claimed.

He also claims that important information was revealed at a public meeting in Shanagolden last July regarding background checks on the US leaseholders and aspects of the gasification process. The information came as news to the local representatives.

“This is a totally insulting failure of local democracy. The councillors signed off on the people’s everyday lives in favour of an inexperienced US company with a track record of failed bids in the USA, India and Argentina; who had no proof that they had indeed ever operated a plant such as the one proposed for Gortadroma.

“We do not need Incineration in Ireland. The Council has ignored the real problems that are associated with this type of activity. Our health, our children’s health, the farming community and the effects that their animals may develop over time, land values, property values etc. It is just absolutely appalling to think that we should have to put all of these at risk on the whim of people who did absolutely no research on the company, effects or consequences of allowing a lease such as this to go ahead. They were not elected to do any of that.”

Last March, 37 out of 40 Limerick councillors voted in favour of the gasification plant at the former Gortadroma landfill wirh three Anti Austerity Alliance (AAA) councillors opting out of the vote.

Cllr Cian Prendiville (AAA) called for a full presentation on the plans to be delivered to the full council before a decision was made, however the majority of council members voted against his proposal. He was accused at the time of “trying to crack a nut with a hammer”.