10 July 2008 Edition

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Gormley must intervene over disposal of hydrogen cyanide - Ferris

SINN FÉIN Environment spokesperson Martin Ferris TD has called on Environment Minister John Gormley to intervene in a dispute between residents in county Wicklow and South Dublin County Council over a plan by the council to transport a hugely toxic and explosive chemical in to the Army Range in Shankill, Manor Kilbride and then to try to dispose of it in the open air.
Ferris was speaking at a protest outside Leinster House by concerned residents in Manor Kilbride and Blessington against a plan to incinerate seven cylinders of highly toxic chemical hydrogen cyanide at Manor Kilbride in the Wicklow Mountains.
He said, “There are huge concerns in West Wicklow and West Dublin at plans to incinerate seven cylinders of the highly toxic chemical hydrogen cyanide in the Wicklow Mountains.

chronic poisoning
“Hydrogen cyanide is an extremely dangerous chemical. It involves risks of both acute and chronic poisoning. There is a possible risk of teratogenicity and a possible role in carcinogenesis. There is a risk of serious environmental pollution and loss of flora and fauna. There is a possible risk to the water supply of Dublin as the Shankill River, adjacent to the proposed disposal site, runs into Blessington Reservoir which is the major constituent in Dublin’s water supply.
“The Council is proposing to use a relatively untried and untested method of disposing of the hydrogen cyanide. This type of operation has never been attempted in Ireland and it is not the standard method of disposing of hydrogen cyanide.
“Environment Minister John Gormley has been very quite on this issue. He must intervene and insist that South Dublin County Council look for alternative ways of disposing of this highly toxic chemical.
“The people of the communities affected are 100% against this proposal. It must not be allowed to proceed against their will.”

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