Third fire at Limerick metal recycling plant in five years 

The fire taking hold at the United Metals recycling plant.

FIREFIGHTERS were battling a large fire at a scrap metal recycling plant on the outskirts of Limerick City this evening.

The blaze broke out at the United Metals recycling plant on the Eastway Business Park, Ballysimon Road, around 5pm.

Gardaí were dispatched to the scene along with four fire tenders, two water tankers and a high-rise Bronto Skylift ladder from the Limerick City and County Fire and Rescue Service.

Although a section of the plant was badly damaged in the blaze, there were no reports of injuries

A passer-by at the scene said: “The flames were really high and the heat from the fire was very intense. There was the sound of an explosion and a load of sparks flew into the air.”

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While the cause of the fire was unknown, it was the third large fire at the United Metals facility in five years.

A press statement released by Limerick City and County Council on April 22  welcomed a decision by Limerick District Court against United Metals for alleged breaches of waste management legislation, following a fire at the plant on August 4, 2021.

The Council said United Metals had been operating a waste permitted facility at Eastway Business Park, Ballysimon Road, Limerick since October 2010.

“A fire occurred at the facility in the early hours of August 4, 2021, which the court heard was the second fire at the facility in three years, as another fire occurred in August 2018,” the Council statement added.

“The company pleaded guilty to the summons under Section 39 of the Waste Management Act 1996, for breaches to conditions of their waste facility permit.”

“The breaches were in relation to operating outside the hours specified in their permit and for not having adequate fire extinguishers and emergency response equipment maintained on-site.”

“The company did not receive a conviction but were ordered to pay Limerick City and County Council’s costs of €1,429.15 and a €10,000 charitable contribution to the Red Cross Ukrainian Appeal.

“The maximum fine for this offence that can be awarded in the District Court is €5,000.”

Speaking after the case, a Limerick Council spokesperson said: “We welcome the decision of the court. By bringing this case, it shows Limerick City and County Council’s commitment to investigate all incidents that occur and to bring those to court if the evidence allows.