SOLIDARITY local elections candidate, Seónaidh Ní Shíomóin, believes that an attempt to ban the incineration of waste in Limerick City won’t be enough to stop the incineration of waste at the Irish Cement plant in Mungret.
She suggests that the move by local city councillors as part of a new regional strategy is probably a political stunt, to avoid the inconvenience of the incinerator becoming a hot political potato in the run-up to the local elections.
“As it stands the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) have deferred their decision to grant a new emissions license to Irish Cement. Changes to the regional strategy wouldn’t be retrospective and wouldn’t undo the actions of the Council, where they acted to endorse CRH and Irish Cement’s plan to burn toxic waste in Mungret.
“If councillors now accept that incineration is unwelcome in Limerick, then those decisions must be reversed,” Ms Ní Shíomóin said.
“The local community has made their feelings very clear. People are infuriated and worried at the thoughts of this toxic monstrosity in their backyard. There have been in excess of 3,500 local objections to An Bord Pleanála.
“On the assumption that the EPA will grant Irish Cement a license, then the only action which will stop this toxic incinerator is a direct, community campaign.
“The successful water charges campaign shows the way where communities organised themselves for a boycott. We have to be prepared to take mass organised direct action including the placing of pickets at entry points to Irish Cement, and refuse entry to waste arriving to be burned.”
Ní Shíomóin feels it’s time for councillors to “put up or shut up”.
“This is an issue that will affect Limerick City and far beyond if it goes ahead. It must be effectively opposed through actions, not more empty election promises. Limerick should lead the way on this issue by saying ‘no thanks’ to CRH and Irish Cement.
“Limerick councillors will have another think coming if they think they can hedge their bets and hope that Government policy will overrule their empty promises here. We will be asking each of them if the politicians will do what’s necessary and stand with us in direct actions and on the picket lines.
“Or will they shrug their shoulders and allow this environmental catastrophe into Limerick?” she asked.