“Cork Harbour may be the second largest natural harbour in the world, however the only safe area to learn to sail in the proximity of Crosshaven is the area immediately bordering the shoreside of the proposed incinerator site” said Civil Engineer, Crosshaven resident and sailor, Sue Walsh drawing the Oral Hearing Inspector’s attention to a square zone marked on a map of Cork Harbour at this morning’s Hearing (28 April). “This is the Curlane Bank area. Due to the obvious dangers in the shipping channel and strong tides this is the equivalent of the sailing classroom of the harbour. This is where we send our children aged 7 and above to sail. You will note the dinghy sailing area is right beside the proposed incinerator.”
Ms Walsh outlined how Crosshaven is home to the largest junior fleet of any sailing club in the country saying “Sailing has now become a year round sport with sailing activity 7 days a week in summer months, winter leagues for both adults and juniors and extensive winter programmes. This sheltered area is a vital amenity for Cork Harbour.”
She pointed out that “in the event of an accident there is no running indoors for these children as it would take approximately an hour to get them back ashore. Rescue boats would not be able to get very close to shore at lower tides and we have heard how helicopter rescue may not be an option.” Ms Walsh said “The body of water that has been eroding the Indaver site has been a vital amenity area for all harbour users for hundreds of years. Indaver continuously states this is an industrial zone. This precept is at odds with the historical and current use of this amenity.”
Students from Colaiste Mhuire Cobh Green Schools Committee spoke passionately and emotionally about numbers of deaths among parents of their friends in Cobh. The students described how the school is located on a hilltop above Cobh Cathedral, 69m above sea level, with a panoramic view of Cork Harbour, in direct line of the incinerator stack which is 75m above sea level.
Abbie Mackessy, a first year student who celebrated her 13th birthday yesterday said that the school recently lost 2 young female teachers. who had lived in Cobh all their lives, to cancer. Acknowledging that there are varying causes of cancer, and referring to figures quoted by a student at the 2009 hearing of 43% above average, she said “I am sure you will agree that these figures are too high” and stating that further investigation was needed before anything new is introduced Abbie called for a Baseline Study of health in Cork Harbour to be carried out immediately.
Mr David Muldowney, Chairperson of the Board of Management of Presentation Schools Trust also spoke on behalf of the school to voice the schools official concerns to the hearing.
Following presentations from An Taisce, Cllr Seamus McGrath and various individuals, the hearing was adjourned until Tuesday next.
Submissions are expected to conclude early next week, with cross questioning of Indaver scheduled to take place after submissions are completed.