by Gerry Hand
There were diverse opinions, at today’s meeting of Meath County Council, on a proposal by waste disposal company Indaver to increase the total waste it can treat from 235,000 tonnes to 250,000 tonnes, and increase the amount of hazardous waste from 10,000 tonnes to 25,000 tonnes.
The Duleek based facility also submitted proposals for various ancillary buildings including a hydrogen generating unit.
Council CEO, Jackie Maguire, has to submit a report on the Councils feelings on the matter, to An Bord Pleanala later this month and a number of councillors expressed strong views on the subject.
Fine Gael’s Paddy Meade went into great technical detail on the issue and had listed only seventeen of thirty one concerns he had when his speaking time ran out.
His party colleague Sharon Tolan voiced worries about an increase in traffic flow through Julianstown village should the proposals get the green light.
Independent Joe Bonner had similar fears about traffic increasing on the N2, which he said was ‘ already at capacity’.
Labours Elaine McGinty, who lives near to the plant, wanted the proposal turned down and she asked ‘ if it is passed will we back here in ten years time debating whether we should allow them another increase’.
Wayne Harding of Fianna Fail, was the voice of reason, appealing to his fellow councillors to ‘stop using inflammatory language, the idea that Meath is the dumping capital of Ireland and Duleek is the dumping capital of Meath should not be suggested’, before reinforcing his point when adding, ‘we have a job to do and as responsible councillors we should not be using inflammatory language.’
Independent, Brian Fitzgerald, came out strongly in favour of the project, recalling his fact finding missions on the subject.
He said, ‘I have been to similar waste disposal plants in Denmark and Germany and Indaver is light years ahead of the facilities there.
‘Indaver has worked well with the community and have actually provided infrastructure in the area that we as a council couldn’t.
‘I would hate the message to go out that this council is against Indaver’s development.’
It was eventually agreed that the councillors opinions would be added as attachments to the CEO’s report.