“Ballinasloe Says No” have been objecting to applications to operate a waste transfer station in Poolboy over the past three years. They have urged members of the public to object to this new permit due to the environmental concerns they held because of its proximity to the River Suck. More than 2,300 people had objected online to the permit along with a further 600 making submissions through their local supermarket. Dr Vincent Parsons, Chairperson of the campaign along with Senator Aisling Dolan, PRO/Secretary of the group and Councillor Dr Evelyn Parsons, have held zoom meetings with locals in East Galway on the seriously worrying impact of this development on the health and safety of over 6,500 people in the town.
“It is adjacent to the old landfill which is in danger of being disturbed. Access is through the streets and residential areas. Trucks will pass by Portiuncula University Hospital and schools. School children will be competing with 30-tonne trucks. The site is near family homes and housing estates – many with young children. These waste facilities are associated with serious health hazards“ stated Dr. Vincent Parsons.
The passionate voluntary team have again been influential. Their creative volunteers put together videos to reach people through social media, organising leaflet drops with An Post as well as ads in newspapers and radio interviews. County Councillor Dr Evelyn Parsons, put forward a motion at Plenary Council that a deputation meet with the Minister for Environment and Climate Action, regarding issues surrounding waste developments operating in areas of high flood risk, heightened environmental sensitivities and close to residential areas which was seconded by Cllr Alistair McKinstry, Green Party, Chair of the Climate Change and Biodiversity Strategic Policy Committee at the Council.
Cllr McKinstry informed the group that the Green Party will be also lodging a submission on these important issues. “Chair of the SPC Cllr McKinstry, lodged a submission and Councillors in the Ballinasloe Municipal District also agreed to make a joint submission. Our residents’ health, quality of life, our environment and biodiversity in this special area need to be protected from environmental threats and we are working hard to ensure the best for the people in the area” noted Cllr. Parsons.
In a very unique move a joint Oireachtas submission had been sent to Galway County Council on January 15, by public representatives Deputy Claire Kerrane TD, Senator Eugene Murphy and Senator Aisling Dolan highlighting serious concerns they held about the application. Denis Naughten TD also independently provided his own objection.
This is an incredible number of submissions when we consider that we couldn’t meet people or speak face to face because of lockdown, and especially when people have so much worry and anxiety with Covid-19 as well as managing with home-schooling and working from home. It’s a stressful time and the worst crisis and still, people care about the future of our town and the impact on our health and safety with this proposed development” stated Senator Dolan.
“The community are coming together and making submissions talking about the pride in their town and vision for a safe and healthy future for the next generation, which is really, really important” explained the Senator.
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It could be at least 10 weeks before a decision emerges.
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