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#CORK HARBOUR - The Government has finally set a deadline for the clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, under threat of massive fines from the European Commission.

RTÉ News reports that a two-and-a-half year deadline has been set to complete the sanitation of the illegal dump on the island at the site of the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant.

Some 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer-causing materials, have been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, in October last the Government signed off on a €40m package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on the island.

In an editorial yesterday, the Irish Examiner welcomed the Government's decision, but emphasised it was long overdue.

"[It] cannot dispel the great frustration that it has taken so very long to do what should have been done years ago," the paper said.

"To this day nobody has explained how an illegal dump of this scale was allowed to develop on a site that is not exactly secluded, remote or out of the public eye - it is, after all, just next door to the country’s main naval base."

The Irish Examiner also reports on worries that the toxic waste may never be fully removed from the island, but rather sealed off and made impermeable.

Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney was quoted as saying: "This whole clean-up plan will be peer reviewed so it’s best practice but it could be better to contain the material onsite rather than remove it.

"We will be doing all that is reasonable to ensure the site is safe."

Published in Cork Harbour
The Government has signed off on a €40 million package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, the Cork Independent reports.
As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the site at the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant - which closed a decade ago - contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
The move comes after an ultimatum from the European Commission earlier this year to act on cleanup of the island.
Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) lobby group, is cautiously optimistic about the Caninet's move on the issue, but said "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".
She told the Cork Independent: "“Obviously we welcome the announcement, we have been fighting for 15 years for this. It is a guarded optimism because we were promised something in 2008. We didn’t see anything then so we will see what happens here."
O'Leary has been invited to join the steering committee that will oversee the cleanup.
"“It is in all our interests that a solution is found for the former Ispat site," said Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, "and I am determined to ensure that there are no further delays in finding a solution."
The Cork Independent has more on the story HERE.

The Government has signed off on a €40 million package to begin clean-up of the toxic waste site on Haulbowline Island in Cork Harbour, the Cork Independent reports.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, the site at the former Irish Steel/Ispat plant - which closed a decade ago - contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

The move comes after an ultimatum from the European Commission earlier this year to act on cleanup of the island.

Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) lobby group, is cautiously optimistic about the Caninet's move on the issue, but said "the proof of the pudding is in the eating".

She told the Cork Independent: “Obviously we welcome the announcement, we have been fighting for 15 years for this. It is a guarded optimism because we were promised something in 2008. We didn’t see anything then so we will see what happens here."

O'Leary has been invited to join the steering committee that will oversee the cleanup.

“It is in all our interests that a solution is found for the former Ispat site," said Minister for the Marine Simon Coveney, "and I am determined to ensure that there are no further delays in finding a solution."

The Cork Independent has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour
The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.
The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.
Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.
Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.
Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess".
He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years."
Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.
The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

The Government has three months to start cleaning the toxic waste site in Haulbowline or risk court action by the European Commission, the Irish Examiner reports.

The site at the former Irish Steel plant contains an estimated 500,000 tonnes of waste, including toxic heavy metals and cancer causing materials, and has been blamed for the area's notoriety in having one of the highest cancer rates in Ireland.

Two petitions from local groups totalling 5,500 signatures were presented to the European Parliament's petitions committee in Brussels on Wednesday, according to The Irish Times.

Mary O'Leary, chair of the Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (Chase), outlined to the committe that in spite of four reports between 1998 and 2005 highlighting the dangers of contamination from the site, the Irish State has failed to regulate it or take clean-up action.

Petitions committee member Jean-Francoise Brakland said he "fully agreed" with locals' concerns over the "dangerous mess". 

He also commended Environment Minister Phil Hogan for understanding "the difficulties and the challenges of environmental implementation" but cautioned that "we are not going to wait for the next 10 years".

Brakland promised that if no real action was taken on Haulbowline after three months, the commitee would seek a court judgement againt the State.

The Irish Examiner has more on the story HERE.

Published in Cork Harbour

The Half Ton Class was created by the Offshore Racing Council for boats within the racing band not exceeding 22'-0". The ORC decided that the rule should "....permit the development of seaworthy offshore racing yachts...The Council will endeavour to protect the majority of the existing IOR fleet from rapid obsolescence caused by ....developments which produce increased performance without corresponding changes in ratings..."

When first introduced the IOR rule was perfectly adequate for rating boats in existence at that time. However yacht designers naturally examined the rule to seize upon any advantage they could find, the most noticeable of which has been a reduction in displacement and a return to fractional rigs.

After 1993, when the IOR Mk.III rule reached it termination due to lack of people building new boats, the rule was replaced by the CHS (Channel) Handicap system which in turn developed into the IRC system now used.

The IRC handicap system operates by a secret formula which tries to develop boats which are 'Cruising type' of relatively heavy boats with good internal accommodation. It tends to penalise boats with excessive stability or excessive sail area.

Competitions

The most significant events for the Half Ton Class has been the annual Half Ton Cup which was sailed under the IOR rules until 1993. More recently this has been replaced with the Half Ton Classics Cup. The venue of the event moved from continent to continent with over-representation on French or British ports. In later years the event is held biennially. Initially, it was proposed to hold events in Ireland, Britain and France by rotation. However, it was the Belgians who took the ball and ran with it. The Class is now managed from Belgium. 

At A Glance – Half Ton Classics Cup Winners

  • 2017 – Kinsale – Swuzzlebubble – Phil Plumtree – Farr 1977
  • 2016 – Falmouth – Swuzzlebubble – Greg Peck – Farr 1977
  • 2015 – Nieuwport – Checkmate XV – David Cullen – Humphreys 1985
  • 2014 – St Quay Portrieux – Swuzzlebubble – Peter Morton – Farr 1977
  • 2013 – Boulogne – Checkmate XV – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1985
  • 2011 – Cowes – Chimp – Michael Kershaw – Berret 1978
  • 2009 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978
  • 2007 – Dun Laoghaire – Henri-Lloyd Harmony – Nigel Biggs – Humphreys 1980~
  • 2005 – Dinard – Gingko – Patrick Lobrichon – Mauric 1968
  • 2003 – Nieuwpoort – Général Tapioca – Philippe Pilate – Berret 1978

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