Call for oral hearing on giant sewerage plant in Clonshaugh

by Sylvia Pownall
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A North Dublin TD has called for an oral hearing to deal with residents’ concerns over a planned giant sewerage plant in Clonshaugh.

Sean Haughey (FF), who submitted a formal objection to the Irish Water proposal, warned that the €1 billion waste water treatment plant could impact on public health.

Revised plans for the facility at Clonshaugh, on a site bordered by the Malahide Road and the M1, have been scaled back from an original blueprint for 700,000 residents to 500,000 but are still a cause for huge concern.

Deputy Haughey told Dublin Gazette: “It baffles me how this could be considered, given the likely impact on public health. The unique birds and wildlife which habitat the Dublin Bay will also inevitably be badly affected.

“The provision of smaller treatment plants is more sustainable and in keeping with environmental principles generally.”

The deadline for submissions expired last week with swimmers from Portmarnock staging a pro-test outside An Bord Pleanala’s head office and lodging an objection.

Locals fear their Blue Flag beach is in jeopardy because of the outflow pipe which could affect the quality of the water. The pipe will also burrow under the Baldoyle Estuary, which is a nature re-serve.

Swimmer Moira Cassidy said: “It just seems idiotic for us for them to have the out-flow so close to the velvet strand. It just feels like they’re using the northside of Dublin as a dumping ground.”

The Greater Dublin Drainage project – which aims to take waste from parts of Dublin, Kildare and Meath – raised hackles when it was first mooted several years ago.

Irish Water lodged a revised application on June 20 and Clonshaugh residents, some of whom live just 300m from the proposed site, mounted an opposition campaign and started a petition.

Philip Swan of Portmarnock Drainage Awareness said: “We have noise pollution from Dublin Air-port going over; now we’re going to get foul pollution – it’s not fair on these people.

“This is capable of pumping 3,600 litres a second – that’s 310 million litres an hour. So if there’s a failure here in this plant, if it goes wrong, literally something will hit the fan.”

Irish Water insisted there would be no issue with the water quality, adding that the proposed out-fall is 6km out to the Irish Sea and will be 23m below sea level at the point of discharge.

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