Calls for State to buy 'contaminated lands' from dairy farmers
Calls have been made for the State to purchase land from farmers near former mining sites at Silvermines, in Tipperary.
Since 2007, the Department of Environment in co-operation with Tipperary Co Council, has undertaken a programme of remediation works at a number of former mining sites at Silvermines, Co. Tipperary, with expenditure on the works totalling €11.2m to date.
Currently, plans are underway to develop a pumped storage electricity generation plant at Silvermines, according to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment.
The proposed development would utilise the flooded open pit at the Magcobar site, which was used to produce barite from 1963 to 1992.
The over €500m worth of an investment is set to provide 10pc of the county's electricity when it is finished.
However, in the Dail this week, local TD Alan Kelly raised the concerns of two families, who are dairy farmers and whose land, he said, is contaminated to the point where their milk is no longer accepted by dairy processors.
"There are legacy issues here that are so deep that it will not be possible to remediate these lands and invest in them unless the State compulsorily purchases them.
He described the idea that these lands could be sold for development as 'absolutely criminal' and said the State needs to own these lands.