ANAEROBIC DIGESTION FACILITY FOR MITCHELSTOWN?
The Avondhu has been reliably informed that an anaerobic digestion facility is in the pipeline for Mitchelstown. Just recently, plans for a €75m bio-diesel/anaerobic digestion facility was shot down for the Rosegreen area of South Tipperary.
Fears are now being expressed that the idea may be considered for Mitchelstown as one of the parties involved in the Rosegreen plan, the Ronan family, have expressed an interest in building a similar facility, albeit on a smaller scale, on the farm they bought at Ballybeg, Mitchelstown from the Hanrahan family.
The Rosegreen plans were for a €75million facility and while it is understood that Ronans have plans for a €3million facility ‘for their own use’ in Mitchelstown, locals are fearful that this may be just ‘the thin end of the wedge’. Ronans are currently working the pig farm they purchased from the Hanrahans four years ago.
However, it is a matter of public record that the EPA have insisted that those running the piggery in Ballybeg, cut their pig numbers by fifty percent to fall in line with the terms of their licence.
Ronans have by no means a good record on the environmental front as was stated by Dr Martin Manseragh following the Rosegreen decision. For nearly four decades up until it was closed in 2003, a rendering plant was run by Ronans at Rosegreen, processing animal carcasses into meat and bone meal. Locals described the smell from the plant down through the years as ‘unbearable’ and ‘sickening’.
The plant also fell foul of the EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) for polluting the local river. Ronans attempted to replace the plant with an incinerator in 2002, but locals forced the rejection of their plans following an extensive campaign.
Ronans, Dawn Meats and Bioverda are part of Green Organics Energy (GOE) that made the Rosegreen application to build a new anaerobic plant to process 250,000 tonnes of animal by-products and organic material.
Here in The Avondhu area, Bioverda will be remembered as the firm involved with the Ballard application that was shot down late last year. This may well be a ‘wake-up call’ for the people of Mitchelstown to be aware of what is being planned for the area.
The people of Araglin, Kilworth and Ballygiblin had, over the past number of years, to call on all their reserves to ensure they were not saddled with an unwanted anaerobic digestion facility in their area.
In the words of the spokesperson for the environmental action group in South Tipperary, STCI (South Tipperary for Clean Industry) Douglas Butler: ”As you know, once a business gets going, the name of the game is expansion.”
Despite intensive efforts, The Avondhu had failed to make contact with the Ronan group of companies for a comment in advance of publication this week.
Thursday 21st August 7:03pm