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Cobh's toxic dump - photos

category cork | environment | feature author Friday July 04, 2008 20:23author by John Jefferiesauthor email jefferiesjj at hotmail dot comauthor address Cobhauthor phone (086) 300 4573 Report this post to the editors

featured image

For almost a week now the media has been full of stories about toxic waste found at the former Irish Steel (aka Irish Ispat) site on Haulbowline, including the statistical evidence that Cobh town, a few hundred metres away, has a cancer incidence rate which is 44% above the national average.

These photos were taken at 8.45am Thursday morning, 3rd July - there appeared to be one person on site at the time (see photo below). However life and work continued as usual at the naval base next door, in Cobh town and Ringaskiddy. Photo 5 shows the now levelled site of the old furnace hall which is the large building shown on some television reports - also the proximity of this to the main Naval Mess Hall and playing pitches on Haulbowline - and the National Maritime College at Ringaskiddy (photo background).

I will let the photographs speak for themselves. I had to reduce the resolution somewhat to comply with Indymedia posting guidelines but they are clear testament of the seriousness of the situation.

Cobh's Pier Head (foreground) shows how close it is to town
Cobh's Pier Head (foreground) shows how close it is to town

Fenced off areas on slag heap - are these the toxic zones?
Fenced off areas on slag heap - are these the toxic zones?

More fenced off areas - arrow shows worker on site today (3/7/08)
More fenced off areas - arrow shows worker on site today (3/7/08)

Levelled site of old furnace hall
Levelled site of old furnace hall

author by Stuartpublication date Thu Jul 03, 2008 19:10author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I used to assume that "the experts" employed to carry out work like this, and by authorities to monitor it, knew what they were doing. Sadly they keep proving me naive and gullible.

Have they looked for all the contaminants expected in both scrap metals and fuels, or just the levels of selected contaminants? Have they looked for hazardous construction materials associated with steel and fuel, such as asbestos? What about radioactive materials such as decommissioned hospital equipment, construction industry radioactive sources and the sources Ispat itself "lost"? (see http://www.rte.ie/news/2001/0118/ispat.html)

One recent example of hospital disposal of radioactive waste into the recycling industry is http://americas.irc-online.org/am/178 - did Ireland's hospitals dump their old radiotherapy scrap like their clinical waste and paper records?

author by John Baker - Cork Greenmappublication date Thu Jul 03, 2008 22:36author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Most of the solutions mooted for this so far that I've heard seem to involve either moving the waste somewhere else -no solution, just shifting the problem, or sealing it off - no solution either. Without wishing to raise false hopes or bandy about pie in the sky solutions I'd like to draw people's attention to the idea of bio-remediation - using living organisms to break down toxic substances and more specifically, mycoremediation - using fungi to break down toxins.
I'm no expert on this but have a look at this website; http://www.fungi.com/mycotech/mycova.html . The people behind this have used oyster mushrooms to break down petrochemicals, the mushrooms actually dismantle the molecules and render them harmless. They talk about certain mushrooms that can absorb heavy metals allowing them to be removed from soils etc. They are also apparently involved with the US dept of defense researching the use of fungi to deal with chemical and biological weapons.
This sounds interesting to me, pointing to the possibilty of an elegant solution to some of Cork Harbour's problems. Even more elegant of course would be to stop producing the toxic material in the first place and there's a lot to be said about that.
Either way, as Stuart says, relying on "experts" to sort this out is dubious at best. I'd place more faith in the good folk of Cork harbour, who've worked so hard in recent years to slow the degradation of their environment, getting their heads together and working out their own solutions.

author by Maura Harrington - S2S; Davitt Leaguepublication date Fri Jul 04, 2008 01:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

... about prevention being better the cure, or, in today's nod to sustainability, the Precautionary Principle, is instinctively understood by all communities who love their own Place.

It is arrogantly and arrantly ignored by the 'shits in suits' and their politician henchmen. It is a tribute to the people of Cobh, Derrybrien and elsewhere that their tenacity is equal to the various messes foisted upon them and they continue to battle it out year after year after year ...

That said, why should any community be sad, mad or bad enough to agree to material and perpetual degradation of their Place when nothing is gained and an awful lot will be lost.

Hope to see you in north Mayo when push comes to shove - shortly!

Beir bua.

author by lulupublication date Fri Jul 04, 2008 10:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Thanks for the info, John. I wish someone would tell that fella to get off the poison pile; it's doing him no good, and he might be taking a heap of toxins home to his family.
Governments talk 'green' while piling up the poison for us and money for themselves.
See you in Mayo for sure, Maura.

author by JJpublication date Fri Jul 04, 2008 11:22author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I managed to zoom in on that last photo - there are at least two workers on site here. I have marked their locations and also the high-tide mark. The pile is no more than 2-3 feet above the water line and the hollow itself would clearly be below the high-tide level, particularly during Spring Tides and susceptible to flooding.

Close Up
Close Up

author by Stuartpublication date Sat Jul 05, 2008 21:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Irish Times quotes Joe Noonan and parts of the White Young Green expert report, for instance Joe says “The report seems to have a very limited purpose. Rather than providing a comprehensive assessment of its current impact on health and the environment across the site, it seems very focused on assessing its impact on future developments,” i.e. possible future use including residential, public open space and commercial/industrial.

In addition White Young Green examined areas outside the steelworks buildings, only 50 per cent of the main steelworks site, for a list of specified contaminants like arsenic, cadmium, lead, nickel and dioxins.


An interesting article from Nuclear Free Local Authorities lists some further (unexplored) risks of scrap metal, including a staggering 2,300 identified incidents of radioactive contamination in scrap. Of course selling scrap metal with cobalt from radiotherapy machines, tritium from smoke detectors etc is cheaper than licensed disposal of hazardous waste. http://www.nuclearpolicy.info/publications/scrapmetal.php

author by maire - C.H.A.S.Epublication date Sun Jul 06, 2008 00:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

In your fourth picture, the one with the martello tower, can clearly be seen the site for the proposed toxic incinerator which Indaver Ireland hope to build.
The fact that the transport station for the toxins is so close to the International Maritime College and the Navy, and downwind of Cobh, did not bother the EPA when they awarded a licence for this commercial tolling industry. The EPA also ignored that the toxic ash from incineration has to be landfilled and we have no licenced toxic landfill, was Haulbowline seen in their sights. That the site floods was not important either. The cumulative effects of this extra toxic burden from emissions on our bodies is very serious. The only way to stop this outrage was to go to court, and at least that burden was lessened for the past few years.
John Ahern has been on the radio telling us he will begin construction of the Ringaskiddy incinerator in 2 and a half years time, pre-empting this court case.The communities of Cobh, Middleton, Youghal, Passage, Glenbrook, Monkstown, Shanbally, Ringaskiddy, Carrigaline and Kinsale are so serious about protecting the safety of the environment in Cork Harbour that they have giving precious time and used their financial resourses for the last 7 years to make sure their health concerns are heard.
When investigating the Ispat pollution, questions must be asked as to how Indaver got their hands on this particular site some weeks before Ispat went into liquidation. Remember our County Development Plan had specifically written into it that no "commercial incineration" was to be allowed.
Did Ispat have a licence to dump, when did they get it?
One positive thing has emerged from the contamination of Haulbowline Island, so close to Ringaskiddy is that there will now be a health study of the whole harbour, something that has been asked for by all the above communities, because "enough is enough" .

Related Link: http://www.chaseireland.org
author by Stuartpublication date Sun Jul 06, 2008 12:15author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I would recommend a contaminant survey of the harbour area in addition to a health survey. The population (12,500 in Great Island) is simply too small to permit a statistically significant finding of ill-health, and statistical significance is the only finding a court or planning tribunal will act on. The legal precedents for health surveys, worldwide, are very disappointing.

The presence of contaminants above acceptable levels is indisputable and actionable.

The harbour and surrounds have been the county's arsehole for too long, for instance when Mercy Hospital diarrhoea closed the oyster beds in 2002 (A case of a foodborne Norovirus outbreak happened in Hong Kong in 2002 where people fell ill after consuming Irish oysters. The Hong Kong health authorities identified an identical clone of Norovirus from ill people and oysters imported from Ireland. An investigation led to the withdrawal of products from the market and a question mark hanging over the safety of all Irish oysters. The Authority, with the assistance of the Centre for Environment, Fisheries and Aquaculture Science, UK, identified the virus with a similar sequence in oysters from Cork Harbour. The implicated oyster beds were closed and confidence in the safety of Irish oysters was restored. Sewage pollution of the growing beds during heavy rainfall was a likely cause of the problem. http://www.fsai.ie/about/reports/fsai_ar_2002.pdf), or the run-off from uncontained illegal dumping in Sarsfield Court, or the latest at Glounthaune.

author by maire - chasepublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

An EU-recognised medical specialist in the field Dr Gavin 'ten Tusscher had told the EPA that before 2005 that adverse health effects were already detectable from levels of pollution permitted by current emission standards.

Non-compliance with licence standards is already a matter of controversy nationwide, with the State and the EPA embarrassed earlier that year when the European Court said Ireland was in general and persistent breach of EC environment laws on waste

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 15:00author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Maire. While there is no doubt that EU legislation is far superior to our own, the problem is that there is a huge problem with enforcement. Look at the Shellfish Water directive and the situation that prevails in Bantry, where raw sewage is still being pumped into the bay.
We should take to the streets and assert our health rights and tell the powers that be that they will never be allowed build this monstrosity. Recent events in the Parliament are not encouraging.
We are on our own but there are more of us than them.

author by Miriampublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 15:18author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...none of this protest/objection is going to make the slightest difference unless or until communities and their representative groups are prepared to take a more radical and united stance. The establishment are playing the so-called proper processes to their own advantage - often ignoring and undermining their spirit and letter. This results in a huge amount of money and energy wasted on things like judicial review proceedings (which only end up in casuist legal rulings that favour business interests while people get diverted and burned out by them - exactly as is intended). So much more effective effort could be put into peaceful direct actions that draw real attention to the real issues.

Forget the media - they will not give you fair coverage unless or until you reach critical mass - and often not even then. They take advertising and/or are owned/sponsored by the same interests you are protesting against in almost every instance. They are either supporting Fianna Fail or Fine Gael - political entities who are again beholden to the same business interests. We can depend on it that Enda Kenny has already given his reassurance to any of the wealthy and powerful corporate polluters that FG will never stand in their way - as Shell to Sea have seen in Mayo. ( Anyone else suspicious of the election results up there btw? In fact it's funny how so many of the best and most articulate of our opposition politicians lost their seats against all predictions. It turned out alright for Dan Boyle though, didn't it?) While the media permit a certain amount of dissenting opinion from the status quo via occasional articles and letters (their fig leaf to cover up the absence of real balance and objectivity), they make sure that the overwhelming weight of the coverage (especially editorials and front page reporting) is unfavourable to the usually well argued objections, is obfuscating or just plain wrong.

To reach critical mass you need a completely different strategy and anyone who is worried about being protrayed unfavourably in the media as 'extreme' or 'fanatical' should get out of the kitchen and leave the business of making a difference to those who are prepared to be constructively radical. Any group that thinks it can stay reassuringly 'respectable' even at the cost of failing in its objectives is going to be a part of the problem rather than the solution. This point has been proven time and again.

It's inexplicable that so many groups like CHASE will not see/ act on the good sense of uniting with other environmental campaigners around the country to mount a serious and different challenge to the way the wishes of the majority are being railroaded out of consideration. The campaigns all face identical issues and difficulties when confronting government agencies and vested interests. There's a real need to put the emphasis on what the campaigns share.

Meanwhile, now that the election is out of the way - and as is customary at this point of the election cycle, a whole raft of deeply unpopular political decisions are being taken in the hope that they will be forgotten by the next election - which no doubt they will be, given the obdurate stupidity of a sizeable minority of the electorate who go on voting for candidates who hold them in complete contempt. Tara, Cork Harbour, Meath etc etc are all being sewn up now. John Ahern is positively gloating in newspapers like the Sunday Business post where obedient journalists report the Meath incinerator decision as if it were a long denied tribute to justice that Indaver should get their way at last. The sight of Ahern's smug grin above last Sunday's hagiography was the ruination of my afternoon - and that of many others too I suspect.

Now is the time to act and now is the time for something completely different if these objections are ever to stand a chance of retrieving the initiative - let alone winning the argument.

author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 16:16author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I wholeheartedly agree with everything you say. We have to consolidate all these issues into one health/environment/democracy movement. I admire the work CHASE has done but it will not stop Indaver. All concerened groups have to unite as a single force, with a vision and a strong voice.
The Lisbon vote should be an inspiration.
Thanks Miriam, your contribution was well-argued, succinct and puts the whole situation in a nutshell. I hope CHASE and others are listening.

author by maire - CHASEpublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 17:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

You have articulated the energy needed to see to the end, the fight for our constitutional rights to health.
Yes it is slow, but it will be worth it if other communities are not faced in the future with the risks to health with which we in Cork Harbour are faced.
We said from the beginning (7 years ago) that Cork Harbour because of its bowl like topography, was the most unsuitable place for any commercial incinerator. That the commulative emissions from already established industry, would lead to a body burden that would be dangerous. Cork County Council obviously agreed. We were in the dark about how dangerous Irish Steel was, and it was too late when Irish Ispat took over,and people of the communities around the harbour did think the EPA were protecting the environment. Now we know from the scant information available, that we have already been affected by pollution in this Harbour and will have to wait until the Autumn to find out by what proportion. That does show comtempt for the concerns of the "plain people of Ireland"

We are very willing to unite with other environmental campaigners around the country as can be seen on our website www.chaseireland.org but are involved in a very serious court case which may have positive consequences for all future developement of hazardous installations. We believe that we are at the finishing line, and we must see this out.
I agree with you, John Ahern, framed in green in advertisements while putting the spin on radio and press on his commercial incinerators being air purifiers, and never mentioning the landfilling of the ash created by his installations, yes that does make me sick.

The burning of our resources is up there with power installations and cement kilns in their pollution output and any energy to houses given as a result of commercial incineration will be greatly offset by the health hazards to these same householders. This can be confirmed by health experts.

Related Link: http://www.chaseireland.org
author by Miriampublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 18:11author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Now we know from the scant information available, that we have already been affected by pollution in this Harbour and will have to wait until the Autumn to find out by what proportion."

Do you truly believe that any report about this is going to 'confirm' anything other than that there is 'no statistically proven risk' 'or 'no proven link' or whatever? While you wait until the autumn for confirmation that will never be forthcoming you are wasting time!

"We are very willing to unite with other environmental campaigners around the country as can be seen on our website www.chaseireland.org but are involved in a very serious court case which may have positive consequences for all future developement of hazardous installations. We believe that we are at the finishing line, and we must see this out. "

There isn't a snowball's chance in hell that judgment will rule in your favour. If I had a farm, or even 20 of them, I'd bet the lot of them on this.

author by confucuspublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 23:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Any time i log on to any harbour issue, i always see items giving CHASE flack about trying to make a go of their campaign insead of uniting with others, and fighting as one. While there is huge merit in a unified approach, i'd lice to make 3 points:

Firstly, when organisations unify, half the supporters tend to fall away, negating the whole aim in the first place.

Secondly, the NO to Lisbon Vote had huge MONEY behind it, along with selling the benefits of voting no very clearly.

Thirdly, why so sure CHASE will lose - what about the Port of Cork decision

Why is CHASE always the subject of this attack, it seems to me that some other groups want to milk their profile instead of learning lessons and building up their own.

author by mairepublication date Tue Jul 08, 2008 23:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

We really don't want any more contaminates in Cork Harbour, and the public are more convinced than ever that placing toxic or municipal incinerators near populations is against WHO guidelines, because of health problems, placing them in Ringaskiddy was always hazardous. The government will be forced to listen soon, by reasoned argument, the EU, prospects of compensation cases or ...........over to you Miriam.

Related Link: http://www.chaseireland.org
author by Rational Ecologistpublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 10:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Forget the EU. They refuse to enforce their own legislation. I have already alluded to ECJ judgements against Ireland on the Shellfish waters directive and the continuing breaches that pertain in Bantry. The recent closure of Bantry Bay Seafoods is grave cause for concern.
CHASE have done a great job.
I look forward to more constructive contributions from Miriam.

author by John Bakerpublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 12:47author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There are a myriad of issues around the harbour that all relate to quality of life and environment affecting tens of thousands of people.
As another example I know there is an Inshore Fishermen's association in the harbour that are currently protesting the laying of undersea cables from Cobh ( the same ones that the folk of Cobh fought so hard to get put under water, winning their own struggle but effectively pushing the problem onto the fishermen). If there had been a means of communication between the two groups perhaps an even better solution could have been reached. I hope that the fishermen will tell their own story in this forum.
Anyway the point is that these problems cannot be resolved by relatively small groups of people looking at small parts of the problem in isolation. They also cannot be resolved permanently if we fail to strategise and set agendas, as opposed to only responding to crises all the time. This I think is a flaw that can be seen in other campaigns like Shell to Sea that I know from first hand experience has consistently failed to strategise and set its own agenda. We can be sure that companies like Shell and Indaver spend a lot of time and energy working their plans and goals out. We have to be more focussed than them.
The difficulty for us is that we don'y have CEOs giving orders, we have a myriad of different groups with varying interests made up of independent individuals most of whom don't seem to like giving or receiving orders, so we need to spend time (maybe a lot of time) talking, building trust and figuring out where our common interests lie, set goals based on these interests and then we have to make a plan or series of plans depending on who we are as to how to reach these goals . Not easy but not impossible and if we can do it we have a force to be reckoned with.

So say, for example, we decided that we wanted a harbour with water you could swim in safely, teeming with fish and surrounded by hillsides growing organic food and produce that was distributed to the people through networks of local markets, not to forget forests of native trees growing timber for fuel, building and other crafts as well as clearing up the residue of the pollution that had been created in a less enlightened time, we would have to figure out exactly how we were going to achieve this. It might take a few generations but the problems have been building for at least that long and so we could not expect to sort things out over night. Anyway in a nutshell that is the scale of things so the proposals (also in a nutshell) are to;

1.Establish supportive communications networks between all the different interest groups around the harbour

2.Use these to educate ourselves and the wider population as to the situations and possible solutions. The situation is so complex that it would have to be broken down into different areas with working groups forming around different issues and geographical areas

3.Create plans to enact these solutions, finding out what works and what doesn't through experience, making sure that what needs doing can be done for as long as is needed (far beyond one human lifetime)

4. Do what we have to do

Seems so easy doesn't it?...

author by Miriampublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 13:23author address author phone Report this post to the editors

...in some respects. The question is whether they - or any other comparable campaign succeeds in their objective. It's no use congratulating yourselves on effort that doesn't succeed - particularly if you avoid choices and actions that could work for you. At the moment none of the campaigns are succeeding because they are - crucially for the government and the vested interests they serve - all working largely in isolation from one another. The sad thing now of course is that the Green Party too are effectively acting to block everything you are trying to achieve - another example of how this so-called democracy is a sham. Previous GP supporters of CHASE and other envrionmental campaigns ardly dare to speak out against government policy in public for fear of embarrassing Dan Boyle, Eamon Ryan, Gilmore etc. They accuse people who stick to ordinary principles like truth-telling of being 'fundies' - a stupid and childish insult.

I've been very supportive of CHASE in the past - as reports and comments I've posted here will show, but it's not disloyal for a friend to make what is intended as constructive criticism. Defensiveness is not going to help you much, either.

It's not a given that by joining effort with other groups anything will be lost. That's just an excuse, imho, for not bothering with the attempt - and it demonstrates a serious lack of vision about what's possible. If the possibility of losing support is recognised in advance then it's a simple matter of ensuring that it's not allowed to happen - by focusing your energy on what will work rather than putting all your effort into keeping to the government-defined agenda. There are countless examples of successful national campaigns that could be emulated. At the moment most of the regional/local campaigns are operating like puppets on strings - dancing to the tune of the so-called legal route where they have minimal input and little/no control over things as basic even as what can be discussed or taken into formal consideration. Regain the initiative! Set your own agenda! A collaborative campaign would require careful thought and effort but no more than you are making at the moment - its only a change of direction and not a matter of rocket science to arrange something that incresases support rather than diminishes it. A key thing would be to address the campaign to ordinary people - with whom the democratic decisions should really lie - and stop this futile pleading with the government and politicians to listen. At best you merely feed their collective ego and in any case they won't listen unless or until you reach critical mass.

The Lisbon No campaign didn't have much money at all. That was Libertas - a fringe group of extreme right wingers which the corporate-backed media focused on to the exclusion of the vast majority of no campaigners - who were actually mainly grassroots activists and others going door to door, leafleting and giving people hard information about what the treaty was really about. (Joe Higgins discusses the media coverage of Lisbon in this report if anyone is interested: http://therealnews.com/t/index.php?option=com_content&t...l=153 )

author by maire - CHASEpublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 16:08author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment has been engaged for seven years, and I would suggest that the non- construction of a commercial toxic or municipal incineration in Ringaskiddy has been successful to date. The emissions from Indaver's incinerators have done no damage to health so far, because of our efforts to stop them.
We have had to raise hundreds of thousands of euros to fund our campaign, but we were mandated by the people of our communities to do that and to fight this campaign in the courts. It is not your way and I respect that , and I accept your criticism as constructive.
The Port of Cork were refused permission to build a gigantic container port on purely planning grounds, the objections from the public were well founded as noise pollution would have destroyed the quality of not just Ringaskiddy but the whole harbour. That has given us heart, but that took our energies as fast tracking puts a burden on the public which is tremendous.
This is not intended to be defensive, as the feed back to our website assures us that the knowledge contained in it and the easy access to this knowledge is of great assistance to those setting up new campaigns.
Our objective is to win this campaign, and that in the future no other community should have to campaign for the right to their own and their families' health.

Related Link: http://www.chaseireland.org
author by Miriampublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 17:13author address author phone Report this post to the editors

..nevertheless, I'd wager that unless you change tack you're doomed to fail.

CHASE have achieved a certain amount and it took enormous effort to get as far as they did (like many other campaigns). However, it would be seriously naive not to understand that companies like Indaver and Shell actually budget and plan for these sorts of protests - they anticipate them years in advance of the time they mean to be able to do what they want and happily play the 'democratic' pantomime until they get where they want to be. That's when they are dealing with the faux democracies of the west where there has to be some appearance of rationality and fairness. In other places protestors end up dead.

All that said, it's likely that neither Shell nor Indaver expected the ferocity of the protest they met in Ireland. That's down to CHASE and S2S.

Now, things are different. We're dealing with a political class in Ireland the like of which has never been seen before. They are the sons and daughters of the Haughey era and the 'celtic tiger' - a newly wealthy and virulently ruthless and unscrupulous group of capitalists who regard democratic process as something to be kicked aside and sneered at if it gets in the way of making a profit. As for citizen protest - the new rulers don't even trouble to conceal their arrogance and contempt. Legitimate campaigns are foolish not to acknowledge and adapt to this reality. The processes you are relying on have all been changed to ensure that you will fail. Radical portest is the only thing left that has any chance of suceeding. That's not a personal preference by the way - just a logical deduction based on the evidence. Who would not prefer to believe in and support any process that stood a fair chance of succeeding based on a full and honest consideration of all the known facts? But that ain't going to happen, is it? You've seen it yourself where the health implications of the incinerators were ruled of consideration during one of your appeals to officialdom.

author by billy idlepublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 18:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Excellent analysis indeed. You are so right about the current political class. It continues to get worse since I've just heard on the Radio a FF poltician advocating the privitisation of state primary schools. I kid you not, despite the expensive mess that PPP's have left behind on everything from roads to houses, the shower in the Dail now want to do the same thing with basic eduacation. Even the clown on the radio admited that this will tie the taxpayer into paying expensive rents to these private developers(no doubt well connected to the main parties) for decades and will work out in the medium to long term a serious drain on the exchequer compared to the state doing the job there supposed too under the constitution.

author by CHASE Admirerpublication date Wed Jul 09, 2008 18:21author address author phone Report this post to the editors

"Civil Disobedience is an essay by Henry David Thoreau that was first published in 1849. It argues that people should not permit governments to overrule or atrophy their consciences, and that people have a duty to avoid allowing such acquiescence to enable the government to make them the agents of injustice."

As some readers will already know, among the many well known people who were heavily influenced by Mr Thoreau are the following:

Mahatma Gandhi, President John F. Kennedy, civil rights activist Martin Luther King, Jr., Supreme Court Justice William O. Douglas, Russian author Leo Tolstoy , Ernest Hemingway, William Butler Yeats, (and many, many more like-minded individuals).

Related Link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Civil_Disobedience
author by John Bpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 01:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It's good to hear the views expressed here. As someone who has worked on this issue to varying degrees outside of CHASE for the last 7 yrs its encouraging to hear debate. The big failing of the anti-incinerator campaign campaign for me was the lack of any proper forum where people could have these kinds of discussions or organise events outside of the legal campaign. I wouldn't be one for prolonged court cases myself.
Having said that I am exceedingly grateful to those who were and who persisted for all those years. We all have different skills and interests, lets put them all to use. I see the unbuilt state of the incinerator and the refusal of the Port of Cork and the current attention on Haulbowline tas encouraging signs. It's probably too early to tell what exactly has brought this state of affairs about. The court actions, the state of the economy, other factors? More likely a combination of all, but it's hardly time to be standing still is it? And lets keep the criticism constructive, we don't have the luxury of wasting time.

Diversity of tactics and strategy, unity of goals has to be the way doesn't it? Miriam? Maire? anyone else? How do we achieve that?

author by John Bpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 01:28author address author phone Report this post to the editors

As a parting shot before going to bed I want to draw folks' attention to a little noticed aspect of the Cork Harbour campaign. A loose group of people with an addiction to fresh air and physical activity decided to take our own action and with the blessing of the local community took on the work of maintaining a right of way across the proposed site for the incinerator. We also planted trees and renamed it The People's Forest because names have power and we though that this was much more inspiring than having to refer to it as the proposed incinerator site or worse things. We felt that it was important to take some action, however small, to affirm what we felt we were working/fighting for, rather than against as being opposed to things all the time gets exhausting.
Anyway the first planting was at least three years ago, significant numbers of people have joined in and enough of those trees have survived to make us want to keep doing it. (You can read accounts of this in previous Indymedia articles
We also think it would be a good idea to have a gathering of some sort at Gobby Strand, which is adjacent to the forest (not really a forest yet but give it time) and also in full view of Haulbowline so we can keep the two issues in mind at the same time. It would be good to have discussions and workshops, walk the land, clear the trees and also food and music and dancing because the weight and seriousness of this issue is such that if we don't go and laugh and celebrate in the face of it we will be ground down by it and might even lose our sense of humour which would be a terrible thing altogether.
Nothing organised for this yet but if people think its a good idea it would be great to get some support for it. Watch this space.

author by Miriampublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 05:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Many's the afternoon I spent swimming from Gobby strand when I were a lass! Will do my best to get along to anything you organise - this is exactly the sort of affirmative and imaginative direction action that engages people and has great potential to bring the issue alive in a way that fixed and restricted oral hearings saturated in deliberately obfuscating legalese can never do. Some people turn their noses up at this kind of activity and think it would be a sort of social faux pas to be seen at this sort of event but we oughtn't pay too much attention to that class of thinking. I remember the first pictures of the tree planting posted here on Indymedia.

A big summer picnic with lots of children would be fun.

author by maire - CHASEpublication date Thu Jul 10, 2008 10:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I agree with with you all a family picnic on Gobbi strand well publicised in all areas, in plenty of time to make arrangement and meet like minded people sounds good. It is so near Haulbowline and beside the proposed toxic and municipal incinerator, that if we lose we will never be able to use it again. History in the making. We could invite guests - Mr. Gormley, and the Minister of Defense etc.
If we win, we could make it a heritage park, to make up for all the amenities that have been taken away from Ringaskiddy.

author by TristanHpublication date Mon Apr 04, 2011 10:57author email trishutchinson at gmail dot comauthor address author phone 086 887 9654Report this post to the editors

Hello everyone,
I wondered if anybody had ay more info, current or otherwise regarding the toxic dumps and the rates of cancer in Cobh?
I am a photographer researching this for a long term project about the topic. I aim to contact residents of Cobh and surrounding areas affected, Health spokespeople, activists, and anybody with information or views about the cancer rates.
If you would like to contact me directly, please email trishutchinson@gmail.com or call 086 887 9654.
Many thanks in advance.
p.s. any help will be confidential if requested.


Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/88220
author by Tristan Hutchinsonpublication date Tue Apr 12, 2011 15:06author email trishutchinson at gmail dot comauthor address author phone 086 887 9654Report this post to the editors

Hey there,
I am about to embark on a photography project looking at the cancer rates in Cobh, and I am looking to make contact with people affected by the issue - families, workers (possibly ex-Irish Steel workers) and members of the community who would be willing helping me with the research, as well as possibly sitting for portraits, to be included in a publication and exhibition to raise awareness of the issue.
All contact treated confidentially unless willing to be included in the final photography stage.

If you need any more information, do not hesitate to contact me on 086 887 9654 or trishutchinson@gmail.com

Thanks in advance.

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