Government not opposing incinerator plan for Cork
The Governnment is not opposing plans for a €150m incinerator in Cork.
Defence Minister Simon Coveney's opposition to the Indaver proposal for Ringaskiddy are being made in a personal capacity as a local TD.
The Cork South-Central TD expressed his opposition at an oral hearing yesterday.
But the Government confirmed it has not taken a formal position in opposition to the project. Mr Coveney's own department has expressed concern at the project and its possible impact on the Haulbowline naval base.
Fellow Cork TD and Fianna Fáil leader Micheál Martin criticised the incinerator, saying it was a "totally outdated project".
Addressing the An Bord Pleanála hearing, Mr Coveney said it was "inconceivable"that a major incinerator should be developed in an area where the Government had already invested millions in a marine college, clean-energy research centres and the clean-up of the old Irish Steel/Irish Ispat site on Haulbowline island.
"I am fundamentally opposed to what is being proposed and where it is being proposed for," said Mr Coveney.
The Indaver proposal for Ringaskiddy was first tabled 16 years ago and is now under its third consideration phase.
Mr Martin rejected the incinerator as "a totally outdated project."
"How many times have we walked the streets and said: 'Who in the name of God allowed that to happen?' Future generations will come back and say who allowed this to happen to Cork harbour in terms of the visual landscape alone," he said.
Fianna Fáil finance spokesman, Michael McGrath said it was "terribly unfair" that harbour residents should have to live with the spectre of a new incinerator proposal.
However, Indaver boss, John Ahern, argued the incinerator was a critical part of Ireland facing up to its waste management responsibilities.