Polluting Clew Bay
THE Irish Shellfish Association, which represents the interests of Ireland’s 230 million farmed shellfish industry is opposing a proposal by Mayo County Council to dispose of leachate from Derrinumerra landfill site into Clew Bay at either Newport or Westport. In a letter sent to the Council and the Minister for Communications, Marine and Natural Resources the Association says disposal of leachate into Clew Bay poses an unacceptable risk, to their members’ shellfish stocks, to businesses in Clew Bay, and to human health. Such disposal fails to recognise the protection of Clew Bay’s water quality and shellfish under the EU Directive EC 79/923 Protection of Shellfish Waters and Statutory Instrument 200/1994, it is asserted."The current practice of disposal of the untreated leachate into sewage works is also unacceptable; sewage or wastewater treatment plants are not acceptable methods for the treatment of such toxic wastes," the letter continues. It is also critical of Mayo County Council for inadequate consultation. Leachate is the liquid, which usually originates as rainwater, that percolates through a landfill and which frequently is contaminated by materials dissolved from the waste in the landfill. Analysis of the leachate from Derrinumera landfill for Mayo County Council shows a cocktail of chemicals including priority hazardous substances, which can pose a threat to human health and the environment. The County Council is planning to build a leachate treatment plant at Derrinumera and to pipe the treated leachate into Clew Bay at Rosmore outside Newport. It is also proposed to improve the wastewater treatment facilities in Newport by building a new wastewater treatment plant. For the last two years the untreated leachate, (81,364 cubic metres in 2003) has been taken in tankers to Castlebar wastewater treatment plant prior to discharge into the Castlebar River, a tributary of the River Moy. An Bord Plean·la has directed that this activity cease when the Castlebar wastewater treatment plant is upgraded by 2006.
The campaign begins. In the bad old days Derrinumera discharged all of its 81,364 cubic metres into Lough Beltra and the Newport River and then to Clew Bay. Now the waste is treated in Castlebar Sewage Works but that has to stop. So if the leachate cannot be disposed anywhere – where do we put it? What do we do? It is you and I who have been filling up our bins every week and sending them off to Derrinumera that caused the problem in the first place. If there’s 10,000 houses contributing to the 81,364 cubic metres that’s a 8 tonnes of leachate that each is responsible for! Take pity on the shellfish farmers and leach less folks!
MAYO County Council have taken action to remove a traveller family from the car park behind Aras on Chondae, where the family had been living in their caravan for the past year. The Maughan family took up residence in the car park amid a flurry of national media interest a year ago because, they said, they had nowhere else to go. The family was informed by council officials two weeks ago that court proceedings were in train and a court order would be obtained to move them on if they didn’t go voluntarily. A spokesperson for Mayo County Council said that the decision was taken to move the family out of the car park when an offer of a council house had been turned down. Speaking to the Mayo News this week, Tom Maughan said that the council had offered a house in the Straide area but he said that he was born and raised in Castlebar and didn’t want to leave the town. His parents have a house in Castlebar where they have been living for over 18 years and where he lived until he got married to his wife, Ellie, a number of years ago. The eldest of their three young children (aged 3, 2 and 1) is also in playschool in Castlebar, he said.
I was wondering where the caravans in the car park next to the bring bank had gone to alright. Whatever about the rights and wrongs of traveller housing it’s interesting that this argument – I was born here so I’m not moving - should be used in an urban setting. The Rural Dwellers make exactly the same argument to justify building holiday homes and commuter homes all over the countryside. The houses are built supposedly so that people born and reared in that townland can continue to live there.
With the opposition parties raising questions about the upcoming citizenship referendum, ELISHA COMMINS recalls how a Mayo baby kick-started it all. THE date for the controversial citizenship referendum has been fixed for June 11th, the day of the European and local elections, despite widespread opposition to the mixing of the immigration issue with local elections and the threat this poses of stirring up racism. The citizenship referendum is the sequel to the tightening of our immigration laws which began with the landmark Osayande case last year in which the Supreme Court ruled that non-national parents were not entitled to residency by virtue of the birth of their child in this country. The case was taken by a Nigerian national, Andrew Osayande, who claimed residency by virtue of the birth of his son in this country. However, what is not as well known is that Baby Osaze Joshua Osayande was actually born in Mayo General Hospital. The Registrar of Births confirmed to The Mayo News this week that Osaze Joshua Osayande was born on October 4th, 2001 to parents Andrew and Flora Osayande of Harmony Heights, Castlebar. The Osayandes lived in Castlebar up until last year, when Mrs. Osayande moved to Galway, and it is understood, Andrew Osayande later left the country. The referendum will go a step further than the Osayande ruling and will seek to ban babies born in Ireland from entitlement to citizenship unless at least one parent lived in Ireland for three of the previous four years.
Folks - the June Local and European elections have been neatly side-tracked into a debate about black babies. I wonder what happened that Mr Osayande left the country – apparently leaving his wife and Irish child behind – was he deported? Did he leave because he didn’t get citizenship? Did they split up? Did Irish racism cause him to leave?
It used to be a huge deal to change the Constitution. And just look at the litany of disasters in recent years when we meddled with it. How many abortion referendums have we had? And has anything changed? And then we were treated to Nice 1 and not forgetting Nice 2 (because we gave the wrong answer the first time). Now they are telling us that because a few hundred black babies are born in Ireland each year we have to change the Constitution to make sure that they don’t become Irish citizens. A poster has kindly posted the two relevant articles of the constitution on the Castlebar Bulletin Board. Just reading the words it does seem to suggest that all that is needed is a minor change in the law and indeed I heard a barrister saying as much on Pat Kenny during the week. The Constitution already states that citizenship is to be determined by law. The various abortion referendums resulted in a much higher rate of Irish abortions so will this referendum cause some unforeseen impact on the Good Friday Agreement, for example? And all to prevent a few hundred black babies becoming Irish Citizens! Children born in Ireland they will always be required to put place of birth 'Ireland' on their passports no matter what their citizenship down the line. Of course the real reason for all this is to distract the voters attention from Health, Housing, Corruption in Planning, Lack of Broadband, Poor Roads, Loss of Jobs to China, India and Eastern Europe. The election has been neatly side-tracked into a debate about black babies – nice one for a country who exported millions of refugees in the 1800s.