Failure to clean-up Irish Steel site could cost state €100,000/day in EU fines

slx

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According to an article in the Examiner today, the state could be facing fines of between 20,000 and 100,000 per day for the failure to take adequate steps to clean 3o the further Irish Steel site in Cork Harbour.

State faces €100,000 a day fine over toxic Cork dump | Irish Examiner

What the hell is going on ? I thought the Green Party were in government?

This is going to be extremely embarrassing for Gormley. He's done nothing about this festering mess since 2007 from what I can see.
 


Murph

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Harney- Gilmore- FF they are all in on the cover-up while Cobh has 40% higher cancer rates than the national average.

It was a group of local housewives that took this to Europe. Nice to see the EU can actually deliver something for the Irish people on occassions, and slap the hands of the crooks in Leinster house.
 

slx

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Billions and billions are available for metaphorically toxic banks, while the Government won't make money available to clean up a very real toxic mess in Cork Harbour. Its frighteningly close to Cobh and to fairly populous areas of Cork's southern suburbs. Its also literally a stones throw from the Irish Naval HQ.

This mess was also caused by a failure to regulate and worse still, Irish Steel, for the vast majority of its highly polluting life, was a fully state owned enterprise! ISPAT's involvement was relatively brief.
 

Mushroom

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This is a much more serious issue than BIFFO getting pished yet again or Bertie making a total gom of himself flogging a trashy tabloid.

I've just Googled "Gormley, Haulbowline, toxic" and the results are really staggering! They show that Gormless had adopted an ostrich-like approach to this problem ever since the day that he slithered into Ministerial Office through the Ahern sewer.

Despite countless warnings about this problem, he has turned a blind eye and lied and lied and lied to the residents of the Cobh and Haulbowline area and people of Lower Cork Harbour, repeatedly and unashamedly.

Just as Michael Noonan's political career was badly damaged by the McCole affair, I sincerely hope that the Gormless political career will be remembered not merely for his ego-driven destruction of the Irish Green Party, but much more significantly for his scandalous inaction on this national scandal.

The following extract is from a July 2008 article - but of course the vile Gormless was much more concernmed about fur farms, stag hunting, incinerator blocking and giving Mary White's snout its turn at the goodie trough than in dealing with the most critical environmental problem facing Ireland during his time as Minister.

"The Environment Minister told the people of Cork that despite all the scary publicity over a controversial toxic waste site on their doorsteps, there was absolutely no danger to their health. Despite the fact that disturbing amounts of toxic waste had been found on Haulbowline Island, the former site of Irish Steel, Gormley blithely insisted that people there were living "in an area free of risk".

Today, that claim is starting to sound rather hollow. A new study has shown that in the nearby town of Cobh, the number of cancer cases diagnosed is a massive 44pc higher than the national average."

Gormley not so Green as toxic scandal festers - Opinion, Frontpage - Herald.ie
 
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DaveMc

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From Dail Eireann debate 24th April 1996.

Kathleen Lynch TD:..........” Having lived through the uncertainty of Irish Steel — before I was elected to this House — and the successful conclusion of the deal — after being elected — it is incredible that during his contribution he found it impossible to say a good deal was done. To hear somebody cast further doubts on a good deal which is now almost 12 months old will cause further worry and fears for the people in Cobh and Irish Steel. They should not have to endure those unnecessary fears because they had an incredibly bad time while arriving at the solution. I assure them as I am sure Deputies from Cork city and county wish to assure them, that all the negotiations and co-operation were not in vain. We are now merely discussing the finality of putting in place the deal which was arrived at in relation to ISPAT. When people speak in the House they forget that those directly concerned are listening and will worry if they hear any note of caution”.


:oops:Wonder if she still stands by her words now?
 

Mushroom

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From Dail Eireann debate 24th April 1996.

Kathleen Lynch TD:..........” Having lived through the uncertainty of Irish Steel — before I was elected to this House — and the successful conclusion of the deal — after being elected — it is incredible that during his contribution he found it impossible to say a good deal was done. To hear somebody cast further doubts on a good deal which is now almost 12 months old will cause further worry and fears for the people in Cobh and Irish Steel. They should not have to endure those unnecessary fears because they had an incredibly bad time while arriving at the solution. I assure them as I am sure Deputies from Cork city and county wish to assure them, that all the negotiations and co-operation were not in vain. We are now merely discussing the finality of putting in place the deal which was arrived at in relation to ISPAT. When people speak in the House they forget that those directly concerned are listening and will worry if they hear any note of caution”.


:oops:Wonder if she still stands by her words now?
As a matter of interest, who was the "him" to whose contribution she referred in that speech?
 

Murph

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Was Kathleen a member of Labour back then, lets not forget that it was a Labour Minister, Ruiri Quinn that sold off the Steel Plant to the Idian steel giants Ispat for £1 -we all know had happened later.

Ispat ran and left us the timebomb. They werent pursued by our gove but they/Dublin are now being pursued by the EU.
 

DaveMc

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Was Kathleen a member of Labour back then, lets not forget that it was a Labour Minister, Ruiri Quinn that sold off the Steel Plant to the Idian steel giants Ispat for £1 -we all know had happened later.

Ispat ran and left us the timebomb. They werent pursued by our gove but they/Dublin are now being pursued by the EU.
I think it was ‘the rainbow’ time;
Is is not only Ispat that ran and left us the timebomb, the government of the day done us no favours either.

How many people that are now Labour members (officials) worked in ‘The Steel’ at the time?
Did they raise any concerns at that time?

Still, working on the assumption that the voters have short memories, it is worth a vote or two to have selective memory loss and blame the current Minister for Environment.
 

Mushroom

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Still, working on the assumption that the voters have short memories, it is worth a vote or two to have selective memory loss and blame the current Minister for Environment.

The evidence of Gormless's culpability in this scandal is well documented - you just need to follow my Google tip above, if you doubt me - but I'd be delighted to go after any Minister who can be shown to have had knowledge of the toxic waste problem at Haulbowline Island and to have done SFA about it.

So if you have any evidence of the culpability of earlier Ministers of any political hue, then post it up and I'll happily re-calibrate my Howitzer's sights.

(In other words, as tonic would say in his charmless way: "put up or stfu"!)
 

DaveMc

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The evidence of Gormless's culpability in this scandal is well documented - you just need to follow my Google tip above, if you doubt me - but I'd be delighted to go after any Minister who can be shown to have had knowledge of the toxic waste problem at Haulbowline Island and to have done SFA about it.

So if you have any evidence of the culpability of earlier Ministers of any political hue, then post it up and I'll happily re-calibrate my Howitzer's sights.

(In other words, as tonic would say in his charmless way: "put up or stfu"!)
Load up, take aim, and fire away!

Dil ireann - Volume 464 - 24 April, 1996 - Irish Steel Limited Bill, 1996 (Seanad): Second Stage (resumed).
 

Mushroom

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The only relevant material in that link that I could see is as follows:-

"Deputy Ned O'Keeffe also referred to the Minister's reply to a parliamentary question on 25 January 1996 when he mentioned a potential further Exchequer cash contribution of £2.445 million in respect of possible residual costs and financial claims arising from the activities of Irish Steel in the past.

I confirm that the matter was discussed by the State negotiators with Irish Steel/ISPAT when it was agreed to provide Irish Steel/ISPAT with an up-front cash payment in lieu of indemnities in respect of possible residual taxation and other costs and financial claims arising [831] from the past.

The Minister gave this information to both Houses in the debates on the Irish Steel Limited Bill and the amount of £2.445 million is incorporated in the State's contribution of £20,273,500. The amount of £2.360 million provided in the latter figure for the funding of necessary environmental and other remedial work by Irish Steel/ISPAT relates to the installation of a metal recovery plant in connection with the management of the tiphead, to the construction of a retaining wall for the tiphead, to the treatment of sewage and scale water discharge and other remedial matters for the protection of the environment
."

My reading of that is that the Irish Government acknowledged that there was an issue of some sort and it gave ISPAT the funding to carry out remedial works. That looks like a responsible approach to tackling the issue to me.

I fail to understand how you can use that extract to deflect culpability from Gormley's Comical Ali response to this serious issue over the past 3 years.
 

slx

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The issue here isn't ISPAT it's the state. They only had ownership of Irish Steel for a few short years. There were decades of dumping on that site by State owned Irish Steel. ISPAT seem to have simply made a bad investment in an unprofitable state owned steel mill and recycling plant.

Its a scary relic of isolationism economics and a weird attempt to create jobs in.a heavy industry that never made much economic sense.

The current issue that we need to stay focused on is what's going to be done to make the site environmentally safe again.

Simply pretending that it isn't a problem is ridiculous. Yet, that seems to be the policy!
 

Murph

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Wrong Six.

Ispat knew exactly what they were getting for £1. They milked it for the few years they had it and only got out when the EPA was set up and they knew it wouldnt be unprofitbale under the new saftety and health regulations.

The state (FG/LAB) knew this when they sold it off -but wanted someone other than the goverment to take the fall so it wouldnt be accused of ditching so many jobs!

Dan Boyle is only half right when he say FG/Lab caused this mess -because his own party with FF are now part of the cover-up or attempted cover-up -which is killing people in Cobh and the rest of Cork harbour.
 

Dohville

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Was Kathleen a member of Labour back then, lets not forget that it was a Labour Minister, Ruiri Quinn that sold off the Steel Plant to the Idian steel giants Ispat for £1 -we all know had happened later.

Ispat ran and left us the timebomb. They werent pursued by our gove but they/Dublin are now being pursued by the EU.
To be fair to Mittal, that wasn't really the case. the problems started long before Mittal took over. He realised it too late and like all good businessmen worked quickly to unload the lossmaking asset. He succeeded in closing it down, creating no further losses.

The green party have been a joke in relation to this. Dan Boyle was all noise and bluster initially. He feigned interest in finding out more, I provided him with contact details for a friend of mine who had been gathering photos and data from Irish Steel during his time in the Naval Service. To date SenDB has not made any contact in search of this informative data. Every few months a "fact finding team" of suits arrive with white coats and wellies, and wander around the east tip, scratching their chins in wonder.
But nothing gets done.

The simple and safest solution to this problem is with science. Cover it with industrial manure, a by product from the many pharma plants in the area, which is created in their water treatment plants. At the moment most of it is used as slurry and spread on farmland as fertiliser.
If it was spread on the east tip it would seal the toxic dust in, for starters. It would encourage growth of windblown seeds. In time, nature will take over, as it has done on so many other landfills, and return the tip to a greenfield site, which would be much easier on the eye than the current grey and blue pits. There would of course be a smell, but nothing worse than the people of the harbour already experience.

It is well known that Labour's John Mulvihill, a former Irish Steel employee, lost his seat due to the closure of the plant. He contines to bring it up to improve his own local election chances, and made a vocal attack on the minister for green things on his last visit to cobh town council to tell them that the Greens would look after them.

But its in Cork, not dublin, so it is low on the Green Party list of priorities.
 

beamish2010

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John Gormley-Gormless.

That idiot Gormless is about as much use to this country as a toothpick in a
oil slick....Sack the lot of them...Clowen,Gormless,Kenny,Gilmore...all useless...

Bring on the Ganser...
 

He3

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the much boggled mind is once more boggled

The only relevant material in that link that I could see is as follows:-

"Deputy Ned O'Keeffe also referred to the Minister's reply to a parliamentary question on 25 January 1996 when he mentioned a potential further Exchequer cash contribution of £2.445 million in respect of possible residual costs and financial claims arising from the activities of Irish Steel in the past.

I confirm that the matter was discussed by the State negotiators with Irish Steel/ISPAT when it was agreed to provide Irish Steel/ISPAT with an up-front cash payment in lieu of indemnities in respect of possible residual taxation and other costs and financial claims arising [831] from the past.

The Minister gave this information to both Houses in the debates on the Irish Steel Limited Bill and the amount of £2.445 million is incorporated in the State's contribution of £20,273,500. The amount of £2.360 million provided in the latter figure for the funding of necessary environmental and other remedial work by Irish Steel/ISPAT relates to the installation of a metal recovery plant in connection with the management of the tiphead, to the construction of a retaining wall for the tiphead, to the treatment of sewage and scale water discharge and other remedial matters for the protection of the environment
."

....
Read that slowly.

When the State (us) was negotiating to sell the place to the Indian company, the company spotted the place was polluted and that expensive remedial work was needed. They asked us to drop the price to reflect the cost of doing that work. We agreed. The deal was done. The remedial work was not done. The company got to keep the money even so.

And to cap it all (well, not all but ....) they upped stakes and left the mess with us.

Public administration it's called I think.
 

DaveMc

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Nobody in political circles from whatever party is looking good on this issue.
The government of the time passed the buck with a ‘hear no evil see no evil’ attitude, Ispat asset stripped the site.

I feel we are dammed if we do, dammed if we don’t with the toxic site.
While nobody is in any doubt that this is Ireland’s Cherbonal; if the government carries out a baseline health study that would ‘officially’ confirm that Cobh is a ‘Dead Zone’ clean industries in the lower harbour would be ‘encouraged’ to up sticks by the U.S. Food & Drugs Administration, hundreds of jobs would be lost, and houses in Cobh and Passage would be worthless....now if that’s what the residents want, they should go for it.

Careful consideration is needed.
 

Thac0man

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This is going to be extremely embarrassing for Gormley. He's done nothing about this festering mess since 2007 from what I can see.
Thats unfair, Gormley and the Greens did not do nothing, they danced on the grave of Irish Steel. Even after that they actually did something; they badgered then government over the clean up of the site. After that what were the Greens supposed to do once elected and in government? Govern and be responsible?

And sure whats the panic anyway, sure a 100 grand is less than Greens are making off their ethical Green investment portfolios. It should be added with more than a little help from the Green Party itself whose periodical pronouncements on wind power gives their shares value a wee boost. Since the Greens have been in power they have been very very busy indeed.
 


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