Archive for the 'Environment' Category



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.”

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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.”

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 anti litter and graffiti grant to Cork County Council

14th April 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for Cork County Council, has welcomed the announcement by Mr. John Gormley, T.D., Minister for the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, and Mr. Michael Kitt, T.D., Minister of State at the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government, of the allocation of €1,070,000 in grants to local authorities for public education and awareness initiatives in relation to both litter and graffiti, with Cork County Council receiving €42,000 of that.

Cllr. Donnelly said:  “Litter and graffiti are both major problems for all our communities, and these grants help the county council raise public awareness and promote anti-litter and anti-graffiti activity at local level.  We must all work together to remove the scourge of litter and graffiti from our communities, which can make them very unattractive places to live.  There is a particular focus of these grants on involving schools and young people and on voluntary initiatives carried out by community groups, which is to be welcomed, as the only way for them to be successful is to have the community fully involved.”

In announcing the grant allocations for 2009, Minister Gormley said, “Despite the economic slow down, it is important that we strive to maintain the sustained decrease we have seen in litter pollution levels across the country over the last ten years.  While there has been a small decrease in the level of grants allocated this year, this in no way reflects any lack of commitment on the part of Government to the ongoing war against litter.  The appearance of a community remains vital to both social and economic activity, and local authorities and community groups must strive to do more with less”.

Cllr. Donnelly encourages people to take part in Earth Hour

28th March 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council, is encouraging people to take part in Earth Hour on Saturday evening from 8:30 to 9:30 by switching off all lights.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “This is an excellent way for us all to sit back and contemplate that we have only got one planet to live on, and we better start looking after her better.  By switching off all our lights for just one hour, in solidarity with people all over the world, it will hopefully lead us all to have more respect for Mother Earth and all she gives us.”

Cllr. Donnelly welcomes announcement of oral hearing for Ringaskiddy incinerators

27th March 2009

Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party member of Passage West Town Council and candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council, has welcomed the announcement from An Bord Pleanála that they will conduct an oral hearing into the application by Indaver Ireland to build two incinerators (one for municipal waste and one for toxic waste), starting on the 27th April at the Cork Airport Hotel.

Cllr. Donnelly said: “For those of us who have been fighting these incinerators for the past eight years, the announcement of this oral hearing is welcome news, as I am confident that this oral hearing will kill off Indaver’s ridiculous and dangerous proposals, once and for all.  The communities around the lower harbour have developed huge expertise in fighting planning applications such as this, and I am confident that by presenting a united front in opposition to this proposal, it will finally be defeated this time.”

We must all support Cork City and Harbour’s application to become a UNESCO World Heritage Site, says Cllr. Donnelly

16th March 2009

Following the submission earlier this year to the Department of the Environment, Heritage and Local Government for Cork City and Harbour to be considered for designation as a World Heritage Site, Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council said:  “We now need to start building some momentum in support of this application.  To this end I will be tabling a motion at Passage West Town Council at next month’s meeting, which will also be tabled at Cobh Town Council, and hopefully also at Cork City and County Councils.  It is important that all relevant organisations in the city and harbour area inform themselves of this application, and support it in whatever way they can.”

Cllr. Donnelly continued:  “The designation of Cork City and Harbour as a UNESCO World Heritage Site would help the region achieve the global renown it should have.  The story of Cork City and Harbour is of global significance, as a provisioning port, and a point of departure for the Irish diaspora whether for emigration or deportation to penal colonies, and as a significant naval base.  Much of the infrastructure that supported this history is still in place, with the naval base at Haulbowline, Spike Island, the harbour forts, and all the commercial infrastructure in the city, such as the Port of Cork buildings and the Butter Market.  Meitheal Mara and the Cork Harbour Forum are to be commended for initiating this process, and we must all now work together to ensure this application proceeds.”

Green Party motion aims to make incinerators non-viable

9th March 2009

At its annual convention over the weekend, the Green Party / Comhaontas Glas passed a motion, calling on the Minister for the Environment, John Gormley, to sign a ministerial order to reinstate the proximity principle for waste management.  The reinstatement of the proximity principle would mean that waste for disposal, incineration or landfill, would not be able to be transferred between any of Ireland’s eight waste regions.  In other words all waste for disposal would have to be dealt with within each region.  The proximity principle was removed a number of years ago by a ministerial order signed by Dick Roche during his time as Minister for the Environment.

The motion, which was put forward by the Cork East Greens, was proposed by the Green Party candidate for the Midleton electoral area of Cork County Council and Midleton Town Council, Malachy Harty.  Commenting on the motion, Mr. Harty said:  “This motion is very important in that it helps to make the proposed incinerators in Ringaskiddy non-viable as they would only be able to take waste from the Cork waste region, and not bring it in from anywhere else in the country.  I am delighted that the members of the Green Party supported this motion at the annual convention by more than a two thirds majority.  This mandates our party leader, the Minister for the Environment John Gormley, to put the ministerial order in place.”

At the convention the motion was also supported by Cllr. Dominick Donnelly, the Green Party candidate for the Carrigaline electoral area of Cork County Council and Passage West Town Council.  Cllr. Donnelly commented:  “I am confident that our party leader will act on this motion very shortly, and this will put a further nail in the coffin for Indaver’s plans to build two incinerators in Ringaskiddy, which are currently before An Bord Pleanála.  For those of us who have been fighting Indaver for the past eight years on this issue, this is great news, and gives us hope that there is light at the end of the tunnel.”

 

Full text of motion:

East Cork Greens propose that the Minister for the Environment should reinstate the proximity principal for residual waste disposal. The proximity principal will require that waste being burned at an incinerator must be sourced within the same county or region that it’s created in. This would dramatically reduce the viability of incineration as a waste disposal method.

East Cork has a rich tourism and agricultural tradition. The area continues to shine in both sectors and has wonderful potential for creating increased value and employment into the future. The area is becoming recognised for its store of good food and culinary mastery. A prominent incinerator on the harbour shores will be detrimental to these sectors.

With good reason, there is a strong fear in Cobh, Midleton and East Cork generally that the proposed incinerator at Ringaskiddy will present a high risk of pollution. These towns lie directly downwind of the proposed incinerator site so that public health, agriculture and tourism will be subject to emissions in the long term. There are also risks from accidents, which happen more frequently that we are asked to believe.

East Cork Greens propose that the Minister for the Environment should reinstate the proximity principal for residual waste disposal. This would apply to waste for landfill or incineration. It would not apply to recyclable or compostable streams. This is something that the Minister for the Environment can do which will make any large scale incinerator in the country unviable, or certainly dramatically reduce its viability. The proximity principal will require that waste being burned at an incinerator must be sourced within the same county or waste region.

The Green Party should promote waste minimisation, recycling and composting, locally. These are growth industries and are ‘Towards a Green New Deal’. Incineration is not.


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