Monday 14 October 2019

Red flags in bid to hide toxic dump from green prince

Charles is an environmentalist. Photo: AP
Charles is an environmentalist. Photo: AP

Ralph Riegel

Environmental campaigner and British Prince Charles will come within metres of Ireland's most toxic industrial site - and will also pass posters about a bitterly opposed €160m Cork toxic waste incinerator.

Irish officials now face a headache over how best to mask the country's most toxic industrial site, which is located just metres from a historic Cork naval base Prince Charles has specifically asked to tour during his June 14/15 trip to Ireland.

The heir to the British throne will also pass close to the proposed Ringaskiddy site of a 240,000-tonne incinerator, which has caused outrage in Cork harbour.

Opponents of the toxic and municipal waste incinerator - given the go ahead by An Bord Pleanála last week - are now considering using the high-profile royal visit to highlight local opposition to the project.

Diplomatic and military officials have been placed in a quandary over Prince Charles's request to retrace the footsteps of his ancestors by visiting Haulbowline Naval Base in Cork harbour - once one of the Royal Navy's most strategically important bases.

One section of Haulbowline island, formerly the site of the Irish Steel/Irish Ispat plant, is notorious as the most toxic industrial site in Ireland.

It is the focus of a long-running €40m clean-up after more than 500,000 tonnes of toxic waste, including heavy metals and carcinogens such as Chromium 6, were found there.

Steel making ceased at the Haulbowline plant after almost 70 years in 2001 with the old mill now dismantled.

Prince Charles will be accompanied to Cork and Kerry by his wife Camilla, Duchess of Cornwall.

The Royal family will make another gesture towards Anglo-Irish reconciliation with Prince Charles visiting the Kerry home of Daniel O'Connell, the driving force behind Catholic emancipation in Ireland in the 19th Century.

Irish Independent

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