Archive for April, 2009

Cllr. Donnelly is confident incinerators will not get planning permission

26th April 2009

The oral hearing for the Ringaskiddy incinerators starts on Monday 27th April, and will proceed for about three weeks.  Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council for the Carrigaline electoral area, who has been part of the steering committee of CHASE (Cork Harbour Area for a Safe Environment) for the past eight years, is confident that finally the threat of the incinerators in Cork Harbour will be refused at this oral hearing.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “At the last An Bord Pleanála oral hearing into the Ringaskiddy incinerators over five years ago, the only reason planning permission was granted was on the grounds that incineration was part of Government policy at the time.  That is clearly not the case any more.  The Minister for the Environment John Gormley has made a number of statements to that effect, in advance of the complete review of waste management policy due later this year.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued:  “A number of other things are different this time, which should make it impossible for Indaver to get planning permission.  An Bord Pleanála refused planning permission for an incinerator in Rathcoole in Co. Dublin, on grounds which can largely be replicated in Ringaskiddy.  Also the board refused the Port of Cork planning permission in Ringaskiddy last year for their container terminal on transport grounds, which would also apply to the incinerators, albeit to a lesser extent.  Also the Department of the Environment have put in a very strongly worded submission on this application, in which they show that Indaver have basically ignored the fact that their proposed incinerators are in very close proximity to Special Areas of Conservation in Cork Harbour, such as Monkstown Creek and Loughbeg.  All of this adds up to it hopefully being inevitable this will be the end of the road for the threat of incineration in Cork Harbour.”

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes Gormley’s decision to scrap e-voting machines

23 April 2009

Getting rid of failed voting devices only sensible course of action

The Green Party’s representative in the Carrigaline electoral area has welcome the announcement that Environment Minister John Gormley is to scrap the e-voting machines, that have so far cost the country €51m.

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, who is running for election to both Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council said: “The last government made a substantial investment of taxpayers’ money in purchasing the machines and subsequently storing them, since the Greens entered government John Gormley has worked to find the best outcome for taxpayers.

“He reduced storage costs from €706,000 in 2006 to €204,000 last year, while at the same as investigating whether it was possible to get the machines working.

“In principle, the idea of e-voting is a good one, but voting is such an important activity that it must be totally above board and free from manipulation or error. There was no way these e-voting machines could guarantee that without further substantial investment, so the only option is to dispose of the machines.

“This is ‘a legacy issue’ based on decisions taken mainly by the 1997-2002 FF-PD government, but the opposition were also enthusiastic backers of electronic voting – with Fine Gael’s John Bruton and Labour’s Ruairi Quinn very vocal in their support.

“A taskforce will now be established to work out how the storage arrangements can be terminated and the machines disposed while returning to the taxpayers as much money as possible, The Environment Minister has taken decision action on this – in the interests both of the taxpayer and the democratic system,” Cllr. Donnelly concluded. 

Learn how to start a garden

A BEGINNERS PRACTICAL WORKSHOP Learn how to start a garden, plan a rotation, care for the soil, make compost, sow seeds, transplant seedlings, use tools and polytunnels Venue; our farm 20 miles west of Cork, off N22 road to Macroom on Sunday 26th April Time; 2pm – 6pm Cost 30 euro All welcome! Booking is essential. Contact; Caroline and Eddie Robinson, 021-7330178 Coal Quay Market Saturday mornings

Minister Gormley taken on boat tour of Cork Harbour, to see the wonderful assets and history of the harbour

23rd April 2009

Minister John Gormley with Cork Green Party candidates, before going on boat trip of Cork Harbour

Minister John Gormley with Cork Green Party candidates, before going on boat trip of Cork Harbour

L to R: Mick Murphy, Stephen Crowley, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Mary Ryder and Minister John Gormley.

As part of his trip to Cork today, Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government John Gormley was taken on a boat trip around Cork Harbour by Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council for the Carrigaline electoral area. The purpose of the trip was to show the minister at first hand the wonderful assets of the harbour, and how this all links in to the history of Cork City and Harbour, as there is an application before his department to have Cork City and Harbour considered as suitable for promotion to UNESCO as a World Heritage Site. The Minister was also accompanied on the boat trip by representatives of both Meitheal Mara and the Coastal and Maritime Research Centre of UCC, who jointly submitted the application, as well as Cllr. Marcia D’Alton of Passage West Town Council.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “It was a great opportunity to take the minister on this short boat tour of Cork Harbour, and we thank him for giving us of his valuable time. The main purpose of the trip was to impress upon the minister the rich and varied history of both Cork City and Cork Harbour, and to demonstrate to him how the two are completely intertwined. While we fully recognise that achieving World Heritage Status for Cork City and Harbour is a long term project that will take a number of years to come to fruition, we hope that today’s trip will help to start that ball rolling. The benefits of achieving such status would be many, and when you see the sort of locations which have achieved World Heritage Status around the world, it is clear that Cork City and Harbour fully deserve to be added to that list.”

Cllr. Donnelly congratulates St. Luke’s School, Douglas, on their first Green Flag

23rd April 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council for the Carrigaline electoral area, which includes Douglas, today congratulated St. Luke’s School in Douglas on the raising of their first Green Flag, for litter and waste management.  The flag was raised this morning by Green Party leader and Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, John Gormley.

The minister was welcomed to the school by the Principal Maire Roycroft and the Green School Co-ordinator of St. Luke’s, Norma Dennehy, and before the minister raised the flag, the children enacted a wonderful presentation, in which they explained the whole process of achieving their green flag.  The whole school then treated the minister to a wonderful rendition of their green school song, “I said no thanks, there’s too much rubbish for me”.  In congratulating the children on their achievement, the minister stressed how important protecting the environment is for the children, so that they can grow up to enjoy a healthy and vibrant planet.  The Minister encouraged the school to stay involved with the Green School programme, and to go on and achieve further green flags.

Cllr. Donnelly, who accompanied the minister on his visit, said: “The Green School programme is an excellent way to make the children aware how important our environment is to all our lives.  It is marvellous to see the children embrace the essential ideas of environmentalism with such vigour and enthusiasm.  The lessons they learn through the programme will stand to them all their lives.  It is so vital for our future on this planet that all our children learn these essential lessons and carry them with them through their lives.  All at St. Luke’s are to be congratulated for this initiative.”

Minister Ryan visits DePuy in Ringaskiddy to see their energy initiatives

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Minister Eamon Ryan and Senator Dan Boyle with senior managment at DePuy, Ringaskiddy

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Minister Eamon Ryan and Senator Dan Boyle with senior managment at DePuy, Ringaskiddy

During his visit to Cork on Friday 17th April, Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources, Eamon Ryan, visited the DePuy plant in Loughbeg, Ringaskiddy, to see their energy inititiatives first hand.  The picture above shows, from left to right, John Lynch (Plant Manager DePuy), James Winters (Engineering Manager DePuy), Dan Donovan (Technical Services Team Leader DePuy), Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Minister Eamon Ryan, Senator Dan Boyle and the Cork hurler Donal Og Cusack, who is leading DePuy’s energy initiative.  In the background is the test mast which DePuy are currently using to get test readings in advance of submitting a planning application for a wind turbine.

As part of the visit, Minister Ryan was given an excellent presentation by Donal Og Cusack, as the leader of DePuy’s energy initiative, and Plant Manager John Lynch, in which they outlined the very serious way in which DePuy are taking energy issues.  For many years DePuy have been reducing their energy needs while increasing their output, and this has led them to very substantial financial savings.  Donal Og Cusack described how DePuy has trained its employees to take energy issues as seriously as they take safety issues.  He also described how over half of the electricity they buy is from renewable sources, and how they are looking at different ways of generating their own electricity on site.  As a start on this, DePuy have come together with four other large plants in Ringaskiddy, and the five companies will be submitting planning applications later in the year to install wind turbines on the Ringaskiddy peninsula.  DePuy are also installing a woodchip boiler, which will be up and running later this year.  They are also exploring the potential of such technologies as geothermal and wave power.

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, who accompanied Minister Ryan on his visit, said:  “It is wonderful to see a company such as DePuy is taking energy issues so seriously.  DePuy continue to grow their business, and are currently employing about 700 people, with an extension currently under construction.  DePuy are a model to other businesses as to how taking energy issues seriously leads to substantial savings on the company’s bottom line.”

Cllr. Donnelly asks the public to support the Tesco workers’ strike

21st April 2009

Following the meeting of the Mandate trade union yesterday evening, at which a clear majority voted for strike action at Tesco Douglas, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, who has been working with the Tesco workers since this problem first came to light over the Easter weekend, expressed regret that Tesco’s unwillingness to negotiate has led to this strike.


Cllr. Donnelly said:  “This strike has become inevitable given the disdain Tesco has shown to its workers over the past week and a half.  With Tesco announcing record profits globally of over €3 billion today, this is obviously not a company in trouble.  Therefore Tesco should just transfer its existing workforce in Douglas to the new larger Tesco Extra store, which is due to open on May 1st, without changing their contracts of employment.  There is absolutely no reason for the workers to have their terms and conditions changed, except the corporate greed of Tesco Ireland.”


“I hope Tesco will see sense, and will see sense very soon, so that this dispute can be resolved quickly.  The sympathies of the population of the Douglas area are very much on the side of the workers, and they will support the workers by staying away from Tesco if this strike proceeds.  This is hardly the start Tesco want for their new store.” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes the support of Passage West Town Council for his motion on world heritage status for Cork

17th April 2009

At last night’s meeting of Passage West Town Council, a motion calling for the town council to support the application for Cork City and Harbour to be put forward for UNESCO World Heritage Site status was unanimously supported.  The motion was proposed by Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council.


Cllr. Donnelly said:  “I welcome the support my fellow councillors have given to my motion, and I hope that similar motions which are to be put before the City and County Councils, as well as Cobh Town Council, will all be unanimously supported also.  Achieving UNESCO World Heritage Site status is a worthy aim, and would be a huge boost to the area in terms of tourism and cultural activity.  There is a long way to go in the process yet, but all forms of support for the process are welcome.”



Full text of motion:  “Passage West Town Council fully endorses the application currently before the Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government to have Cork City and Harbour put forward for consideration as a UNESCO World Heritage Site.”



Cllr. Donnelly welcomes Tesco’s change of heart with some employees in Douglas

16th April 2009

Now the same must happen for all their existing workers

Following meetings today between management at Tesco Douglas and representatives of SIPTU and the Associated Craft Butchers of Ireland, at which satisfactory terms were agreed for their members in the transfer to the new Tesco Extra store in Douglas, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, has encouraged Tesco Ireland to treat the vast majority of their existing workers, who are members of the Mandate union, in the same way.


Cllr. Donnelly said:  “I welcome the fact that Tesco has today agreed to treat its employees who are members of SIPTU or the Craft Butchers fairly.  However these are only small numbers of people, and the vast majority of Tesco’s employees, who are members of Mandate, are still being treated appallingly.  Why Tesco is behaving in this way with people who have given just long and loyal service is beyond belief, and is proving to be a P.R. disaster for the company.”


“I urge the management of Tesco Douglas to sit down with representatives of Mandate as soon as possible, and to negotiate reasonable terms for the transfer of the staff to the new store.  Otherwise they are going to lose huge numbers of customers, as the level of anger in the community is huge, and Tesco are very rapidly losing the goodwill of the local community in and around Douglas,” concluded Cllr. Donnelly.

Thousands of green jobs to be created by ESB

16th April 2009

Announcement proves that going green will save money and the economy says Cllr. Donnelly

Local Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly has welcomed today’s announcement by the ESB that up to 6,000 jobs and training opportunities are to be created through green projects and initiatives. The ESB confirmed that 3,700 jobs will be created in the areas of wind energy, smart networks and smart metering, electric vehicles, construction and energy servicing.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “Going green saves money and creates jobs. Today’s announcement is proof of this. As an island nation we can use our vast wind and wave resources to power our homes and our cars. In order to do this, we need to install and upgrade our electricity network in a smart way – and this is where many of the jobs announced by the ESB will come from.”

 “The Green Party in Government has taken Irish energy in a new direction. Our initiatives such as smart meters, smart networks, electric cars, renewable energy, green technology and home insulation are bearing fruit. Now we must look at how these jobs can be created and sustained at a local level,” continued Cllr. Donnelly.

Specific projects resulting in the creation of new jobs include:

  • The roll-out of Smart Metering and the implementation of ESB’s Smart Networks Strategy which will lead to 1,500 jobs by 2013.
  • Novus Modus (ESB’s new energy technology fund) has committed to a five year programme of investment in clean energy and energy efficiency (350 jobs). The fund has just invested €2.5 million in the Cork-based company, Nualight, which is creating up to 60 additional jobs locally.
  • Electric vehicles (600 jobs) including the roll-out of the infrastructure to allow electric vehicles to be recharged.
  • Working with Sustainable Energy Ireland, ESB will offer free home-energy efficiency surveys to 25,000 householders and subsequent support to allow them implement necessary measures.
  • In order to alleviate the current severe shortage of electrical engineers, ESB will finance 50 apprentices each year for the next four years to allow them to achieve a third level engineering degree.  

In addition, ESB will sustain a further 1300 jobs outside the company through ongoing investment programmes in the company’s power generation and networks infrastructure. The company will recruit 250 engineers and 50 other professionals and train 800 apprentices over the next five years, including 400 FAS apprentices who recently lost their jobs and will now be able to complete their craft training, paid for by ESB. 

Cllr. Donnelly concluded: “There’s no denying that times are tough, but with proper planning and investment, we can help kickstart the economy, get people off our doles queues and sustain our energy future, while helping the  environment too.”


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April 2009