Advocating and fighting to “Save the Boyne,” protesters came out in the droves on Saturday broadcasting their grievances regarding the decision taken by Meath County Council granting permission to Dawn Meats to install pipe discharging 400,000 litres of wastewater into the the river which runs through a National Heritage Site.
Walkers, kayakers, canoeists, swimmers and concerned citizens joined the protest at different stages along the Boyne, from Navan to Drogheda.
The early morning torrential rain along the ramparts did not deter the hardy fold from sending a clear message to An Bord Pleanala, Meath County Council and Dawn Meats.
“Until the public water treatment plants are upgraded to an acceptable standard and we can be guaranteed that the water quality will not be put at risk of deterioration, we do not consent to one more additional drop of wastewater going into the River Boyne,” said Margaret Downey.
“51 Mitigation measures were outlined in the revised Natura Impact Statement by Panther Environmental Solutions at construction stage of the proposed pipeline – which means that the risk to the Boyne River is huge if any one of these measures is not adequately monitored.”
Kayakers and canoeists came from Dublin, Carlow and Roscommon in solidarity, while swimmers launched themselves into the sluggish waters from Glenmore to Drogheda.
Coming together at the midway point, Slane Bridge, for a spot of lunch, providing an opportunity for non-walkers to join the rally, a number of local musicians sang moving tributes written about the historical river.
Labour TD Ged Nash and Sinn Fein TD Darren O’Rourke joined at the midway point, showing their support.
Drogheda Mayor Michelle Hall, Labour Councilor Elaine McGinty and Independent Councilor Gillian Toole walked a considerable amount of journey, expressing deep concern for the river Boyne.
“We need transparency and accountability from those who are making decisions regarding our natural resources and we need to respect and protect our water,” added Margaret.
The public are being advised to submit their support for the cause to An Bord Pleanala. Planning register reference number is 21424. Appeal reference number: ABP313586-22.