Wednesday 16 October 2019

Duleek power plant next to 290BC 'rare' Henge

Hubert Murphy

Concerns have been raised over the development of a power plant beside an ancient Henge - dating from 3,000 years before Christ!

The site at Carranstown near Duleek is the subject of a planning application which proposes to construct the plant with a 25m 'buffer' zone from the Henge.

However, a public meeting in Duleek last week heard from Steve Davis from UCD who said the Henge was 'quite rare' and indeed, he found it in 2010.

The Henge, which dates from the Neolithic period, is a classic type found in the Boyne Valley and he added, 'it is likely there are other significant items around it. It is part of a bigger picture.'

He says the Carranstown Henge is 'one of a few in Ireland' and it is an 'important site'.

He says a 'buffer' zon of 25m from the power plant is not enough and it should be 45 to 50m.

Pat O'Brien from the local environment group said that people were not opposed to 'clean' industry, but the proposed plant was 'old technology' and indeed is second-hand.

It also operates using diesel and will be taking water from the mains.

'We hope the council and the local councillors will push the project into an Bord Pleanala for an oral hearing and then people can have their say.

'This was proposed back in the 1990s too and it was fought then,' he added.

'The environmental group feel that this area has had its fair share of industry.'

He says the present water supply struggles to meet the demands of residents and businesses as it stands, never mind adding to the situation.

'There are so many other things that need to be sorted out, the bypass of Duleek is one and the need for an EPA office. Ministers and TDs have turned a deaf ear to this,' he explained.

He says people have legitimate concerns about their health and while no one source can be blamed for issues, the facts speak for themselves.

Guillain-Barré syndrome is one subject that has drawn immense debate.

Two men in the Duleek area were diagnosed with it and within 12 months, there were six cases. There are another six cases in an area from Drogheda to Kentstown.

'Cancer is rampant in this area,' he stated.

'Unfortunately, all the proof is in the graveyard.'

Fellow campaigner, Vincent O'Donovan from Donore, is equally concerned about the whole situation.

'I look around and I wonder why there's not hundreds of people here, thousands even.

'And they should be here, from the likes of Beamore and Legavoureen and south Drogheda.

'The wind carries all this stuff and that's where it lands. These areas will be impacted far more than Duleek but people don't seem to realise that.'

Cllr Sharon Keogan called the meeting and she said she had a big issue with diesel being used as part of the process. 'That's a no no in my book,' she remarked.

Renua European Elections candidate Michael O'Dowd attended and said the situation was 'quite shocking' and people needed to wake up and learn more about the whole process.

'This is on their doorstep. People have to ask questions,' he added.

Drogheda Independent