Tuesday 16 January 2018

€256k fire bill left unpaid by recycling firm

A firefighter tackles the blaze at its height. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
A firefighter tackles the blaze at its height. Photo: Stephen Collins/Collins Photos
Firefighters work at the scene of a fire at the Oxigen plant. Photo: Brian Lawless/PA Wire.
Members of the Dublin Fire Brigade attempt to quell the blaze at the Oxigen recycling plant in Ballymount. Photo: Frank McGrath
The fire at the Oxigen plant in the Ballymount Industrial Estate, south Dublin, has been burning since Saturday

Brian Byrne

Dublin city council is considering legal action after a recycling plant failed to pay a €256,690 fee to fire services following a five-and-a-half day blaze.

Some 30 units of Dublin Fire Brigade were called to the Oxigen facility in Ballymount, Dublin, during the inferno last January. The final cost of the call-out charge is €256,690.

An invoice was issued to the plant last March, however the Herald has learned that management haves still failed to send payment and Dublin City Council is considering legal action in a bid to retrieve the money.

The fire began at approximately 3am on Saturday January 25, spreading rapidly through buildings at the premises. An extensive smoke flume from the fire was reported throughout the capital before the blaze was extinguished the following Wednesday.

An air quality assessment by the Environmental Protection Agency revealed that there was “no significant impact on air quality across the greater Dublin area”.

“The levels of pollutants in the smoke plume in close proximity to the fire were elevated in a number of cases. Those following the health advice to shelter and avoid physical exertion are unlikely to have experienced these levels for any significant period of time.”

It previously emerged that in the past ten years the company has appeared before the courts on four occasions, resulting in total fines and costs of more than €810,000.

The most serious of these occurred in 2012, when the company and Cavan County Council were found guilty of “failing to ensure that odours did not give rise to a nuisance at Corranure Landfill, Cootehill Road, Cavan, or in the immediate area of the landfill,” for which the company was fined €780,000.

Oxigen management did not respond to calls for comment by the Herald.

A spokeswoman from Dublin Fire Brigade said that while there is no set time frame in which a business is required to pay an invoice, it continues to chase all outstanding payments.

A garda spokesman said the fire had been caused naturally and that there was no criminal element involved.

hnews@herald.ie

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