Saturday 26th April 2003
Rosegreen incinerator plans scrapped
by Anne O’Grady
- A sustained campaign, lasting almost twelve months, to prevent a meat and bonemeal incinerator being located at Rosegreen outside Cashel came to an abrupt end late last week when the promoters, National By-Products Ltd., announced that they were discontinuing their plans.
The incinerator, permission for which had been granted by South Tipperary County Council had met with vehement opposition and had led to one of the world's most successful horse trainers, Mr. Aidan O'Brien of Ballydoyle, threatening to leave the country if the plant was located on the proposed Rosegreen site.
The anti-incinerator campaign had also received the backing of renowned international horse trainer, Mr John Magnier of Coolmore Stud as well as a host of medical personnel and thousands of people from throughout South Tipperary.
Over 23,000 people had backed the anti-incinerator group and it had been estimated that costs of the legal battle would run into multi-million euro.
However, the campaign came to an abrupt end on Friday last when Ronan Industries, the animal rendering company, stated that it had decided to discontinue its plans to build a meat and bonemeal incinerator at its premises at Rosegreen, Cashel, and was withdrawing its planning and IPC (Integrated pollution control) applications.
A statement from the Ronan family said that they were concerned about the serious divisions which had arisen in the local community, where five generations of the Ronan family had lived and worked. For this reason they had now decided reluctantly to discontinue the project.
"Ronans are a local family, which has been engaged in business in Rosegreen for generations, and they do not wish to see a continuation of divisions within the local community and between neighbours. They particularly regret that the Ronan family was directly targeted by the opponents of the project", a spokesman for the family said.
Notwithstanding the decision to withdraw its applications, Ronan Industries reiterated that the Rosegreen project had been based on sound environmental principles, and that it would not have had any adverse effect on the local area or the people living there.
South Tipperary Anti-Incinerator Campaign (STAIC) Chairman, Mr. Seamus Hayes expressed "absolute delight" with the decision not to proceed with the project.
He stated that there had been overwhelming support from the people of South Tipperary against the incinerator. STAIC, he said, could not have hoped for victory without the financial support of Mr. Aidan O’Brien and Mr. John Magnier but, he stated, "this is really a victory for the ordinary people".
A joint statement issued by Coolmore and Castlehyde Stud farms, which are owned by Mr. Magnier, and Ballydoyle Racing Stables, run by Mr. O'Brien said they were delighted to learn that National By-Products had taken this step.
Mr. O'Brien congratulated the Ronan family on the decision which would, he said, restore harmony in this "close-knit and vibrant community". He stated that they were sorry if the Ronan family felt personally targeted during a campaign which had been intense and at times heated.
The decision has been deemed the result of "people power" by Clonmel Sinn Fein Cumann. Speaking at a meeting of the Cumann at the weekend, South Tipperary spokesperson, Mr Muiris O Súilleabháin described the decision of Ronan Industries to withdraw their application as a result of people power.
Mr O Súilleabháin said Ronan Industries decision had been forced upon them by a concerted effort from the local people in South Tipperary and beyond. "It clearly demonstrates what is capable when a community works together to overcome such a problem", he said.
The spokesperson stated that STAIC deserved much credit for the work carried out since South Tipperary County Council had granted permission to build the incinerator on the 13th of May last year. "This incinerator would have been a direct threat to our local economy, our livestock, bloodstock, our crops and produce, and most importantly of all our health and that of our children. It is important now that the people of South Tipperary lend their support in whatever manner they can to other communities that are facing the same problems in their localities".
Mr O Súilleabháin said Sinn Féin was completely opposed to incineration as a form of waste management and would continue to fight on behalf of local communities who were having "these monstrosities foisted upon them".
The next big anti-incineration battle, which will be fought locally, he said, would be against the municipal waste incinerator called for in the South East Region Waste Strategy which had already been passed by South Tipperary County Council.