What is so interesting about this head line is that it comes from an article in the Irish Times dated Thursday April 7th 2005.
A disturbing account of the health hazards of living in the close vicinity of a Plastics Polymer Extrusion Company, here, you can read the article for yourself; https://www.irishtimes.com/news/plastics-factory-sued-over-smells-noise-1.429812
So old news you might think. Not so, as the fight by these long-suffering residents continues right up until this present day. With currently a court order being placed on Athlone Extrusions Ltd to restrict their production practices. This according to Mr Shay Hamilton a local resident and long-standing member of the campaign against this factory.
If you have read the article link above you will have got the shocking account of the suffering of a community who have the misfortune to live in the fall out zone of polymer extrusion production factory. A long-term living hell.
The factory which was acquired this year by Swiss company Schweiter Technologies in a €48 million deal. Athlone Extrusions disclosed sales of Euro 63.67 million in 2016 up from Euro 61.6 million in 2015.
So why should our SOS campaign be featuring the suffering of this group of residents? Simple. Because if the thermoplastic polymer extrusion factory ever gets built in Skibbereen, history will repeat itself.
If RTP/Daly Plastics Ltd get their way, do you seriously expect that the Cork County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency are going to rescue the residents from the odours and the emissions, when they allowed planning permission for the project with no investigation into either. With no Environmental Assessment and with no Licensing or Emissions Monitoring. It is these very authorities who are part of the problem knowingly working with inadequate planning legislation that is largely removed from the public interest or public good.
Ask the Athlone community if they have received support from their local authority and EPA and they will tell you they have not, despite the overwhelming evidence built up over sixteen years. Despite the proven serious health issues, their local EPA officers stand beside the corporate Swiss ownership, unwilling to defend the community of tax payers who’s incomes secure the salaries and pensions of these politically whipped EPA civil servants.
This is exactly what will face Skibbereen, a hugely long struggle against stench and pollutants. And why is this a reality, because those public servants who were entrusted to take care of us, allowed an American Corporation to hold the health and safety of a community in its back pocket. Because they gave planning permission for a Plastics & Chemical Polymer Extrusion Factory with No Environmental Impact Assessment. With No EPA Licensing. With No Emissions Monitoring. In short no safety net whatsoever.
History is a vast early warning system, let us not waste the opportunity of it educating us. If our representatives will not work diligently for our communities in matters of environmental safety, then we must take that onboard and do it for ourselves.