Published: Thu, 04 June 2015
Sean Kelly MEP has welcomed today’s confirmation that the government will allocate a total budget of €61 million to complete the clean-up of the Haulbowline toxic dump in Cork Harbour.
“The additional €21 million boost is extremely welcome and will mean the core clean-up will be finished by the end of 2015, with further work continuing until 2017 in an ‘all-island’ effort.
“This news will come as an enormous relief to the people of Cobh who desperately want to have the entire island freed from the health implications the dump posed due to unchecked emissions of a carcinogenic toxin, Chromium VI, which came from an unlicenced landfill.” Mr Kelly tirelessly lobbied for action on the issue as an MEP for Ireland South and successfully brought a petition on the issue before the European Parliament in 2011, which resulted in the European Commission directing that the Irish government take action to clean-up the toxic dump. “This toxic dump has been a scar on an otherwise very scenic location in Ireland and while it is difficult to measure its impact in monetary terms, no one can deny its existence has had a detrimental effect on Cobh’s tourism potential.
“While a baseline health study has never been carried out, the National Cancer Registry of Ireland proves that the rate of cancer in Cobh is 37% higher than the national average. Furthermore, we cannot forget the environmental and economic concerns also at the fore of the Haulbowline campaign for many years.”
“Today is further good news and follows on from our success in 2011 when the European Commission directed Irish authorities to take decisive action on the landfill within a three month timeframe under threat of court action. The warning followed a petition of over 5,000 signatures calling for immediate action which I brought before a parliamentary committee in conjunction with Cork Harbour Health pressure group,” the MEP continued.
The Fine Gael MEP is hopeful for the future of this part of his Cork constituency: “The future is certainly looking brighter future for Cobh and Haulbowline Island”.