Category Archives: News

My submission to the Novartis planning application

Novartis #Ringaskiddy operates two incinerators on site. One is a liquid vapour incinerator and the other is a solid waste incinerator. Both were installed to dispose of manufacturing waste generated on site. Heat recovered from the incinerators is used in the manufacturing process. But Novartis has reduced processing over the past couple of years and plans to reduce it yet further. As a result, there isn’t enough on-site waste being generated to power the incinerators and they have had to burn fossil fuels to generate the necessary heat to continue processing.

Novartis has recently lodged a planning application with Cork County Council seeking permission to accept liquid and solid hazardous wastes from other manufacturing sites around the country to burn in their on-site incinerators. The application says that this would supplement the waste lost by the reduced manufacturing, would allow a move away from the burning of virgin fossil fuel and would reduce hazardous waste currently exported from Ireland for treatment/disposal. It says the proposed wastes would be of a type similar to what is (or was) already on site and would therefore be suitable for burning in their incinerators. It also says that this move would help them sustain the Ringaskiddy operation.

I put considerable work into preparing a submission to this planning application. At face value, the logic of optimising existing under-used infrastructure makes perfect sense. However having been part of the 20-year campaign to keep merchant incineration out of Cork Harbour, I felt it was necessary that there would be crystal clear understanding of the proposed Novartis operation. You can read my submission at this link:

community enhancement funding 2020

Funding was approved by Cork County Council’s South Cork Local Community Development Committee today for a whole range of community groups under the Community Enhancement Programme. The scheme had 132 applications, was well oversubscribed and thanks to the LCDC for making a real effort to make sure as many groups as possible got what they were requesting. Some funding applications were transferred to the Covid Emergency Fund to which they were more suited. Two applications were transferred to the Creative Ireland grant scheme and were funded that way.

The full list of awarded grants under the Community Enhancement Programme is at this link:

Projects receiving funding under the Covid Emergency Fund and Creative Ireland grant schemes are here:

MY Observation to an Bord PleanÁla on the Marino Point planning application

As you know from previous posts, a planning application was lodged for Marino Point to upgrade the site infrastructure so it could function as an IDA-type industrial park and accept some of the current City Quays/Tivoli activities. It was no great surprise that the planning application was granted by Cork County Council. The decision was appealed to An Bord Pleanála. I submitted an observation on that appeal this week on my particular concerns of 1) who would take responsibility for overall management of the site and 2) how it is impossible to assess the overall impact of the proposed development on #PassageWest and #CorkHarbour when planning of the site is split into all its component parts. If you’d like to read it, my observation is here:

Thanks to everyone who looked for a photo of the gas flaring for me. The planning application gave the impression that Marino Point is a long way away from any sensitive receptors. We know that’s not the case and I wanted to use the photo to emphasise how activity at Marino Point can (and has) impacted on Passage West in the past. This photo (above) was the best I could come up with. There are better images in my head 😉

My submission to the cork city development plan

Both Cork County Council and Cork City Council are revising their County Development Plans for the first time since the extension of the City boundary. I’ve always thought there should never be a division between City and County. Mutual benefit is far more beneficial to both than competition. The City is even more our near-neighbour than ever before so I thought it equally important to contribute to the City Development Plan as to that in the County.

My submission is here:

we are cork summer youth challenge

The We Are Cork Summer Youth Challenge is a series of exciting, fun challenges for young people aged 13 – 18 to complete throughout the summer of 2020.

How to take part ….

– Choose your challenge from 6 themes: Music/Sport/Tech/Society/Environment/Arts. 
– Sign up using the link below. This gives you access to all the challenges via an App called FlipGrid. FlipGrid will allow you to record your challenges in 30 second video clips.  
– There are 40 challenges altogether. You need to complete 20. When your 20 are done, you will receive a medal from The Mayor of the County of Cork (or from the Lord Mayor if you are living in the Cork City Council area). 

Some examples of the challenges involved exploring your local library, writing a poem, Completing a 5k, fun challenges like learning how to juggle or make a structure out of pringles, etc…

It’s a fun and exciting challenge for all young people and allows for creativity and fun. The sign-up link is at https://bit.ly/2YZrg6m.

The Cork Summer Youth Challenge was developed by Cork Education and Training Board along with Cork County CouncilCork City CouncilCork Sports PartnershipMusic Generation Cork CityCork City Libraries. You can take a look at the Facebook page (https://www.facebook.com/events/2047764132034029/ and the participant guide is at the link below:

Garryduff Woods forest road licence application and felling licence

A licence for the clearfell of 6.54 hectares of trees in Garryduff Woods was granted by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) to Coillte in October 2018. The area that Coillte intends to cut is at the southern end of the forest. 6% of the trees in this area are broadleaf oak and beech, estimated as having been planted in 1863. A very small area is Douglas Fir and Juniper Larch. The remaining almost 60% is Sitka Spruce planted in 1970. The felling licence is at this link:

I’m guessing not many of us knew that a felling licence had been granted to Coillte for Garryduff Woods. When a felling licence application is received by DAFM, they advertise it on their website and there is a period of time during which the public can make comment. However there was no requirement for Coillte to put up a site notice.

What has alerted us to the possible loss of the Garryduff Woods that we know and love is that Coillte has now applied for a Forest Road Licence application to remove trees from the area it proposes to clearfell. They must stick up a site notice for this. The proposed road would run for 360 metres alongside the lower river. Building it would involve clearfelling a width of at least 15 metres. The Forest Road Licence application is here:

Coillte is obliged to replant the area they clearfell. The felling licence application shows that their replanting intentions are for 100% Sitka Spruce for future harvesting.

This is devastating for all of us who love Garryduff Woods, who rely on it for recreation, for space, for a bit of wildness in an urban environment. It means the loss of habitat for the red squirrel, badger and so many other avian, mammal and insect species.

We are in a period of public consultation on the Forest Road Licence application. You can make a submissions free of charge in relation until 26th June 2020. Your submission can be sent by post to:
Approvals Section, Forestry Division, Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Johnstown Castle Estate, Co. Wexford
or by email to:
forestryappenq@agriculture.gov.ie.

You can express your views in your submission and they will be taken into account by a Forestry Inspector when s/he is considering the application. Make sure you provide your name and address and quote the reference number: CN86326.

This is my daughter during lockdown in the area of the forest which Coillte wants to decimate to build the forest road. Heartbreaking.