County Council approves new permit despite recent High Court Order.
Galway County Council has decided to grant another permit to operate a waste transfer station at Poolboy despite the recent order of the High Court quashing their decision to grant same in April 2021.
Chairperson Dr Vincent Parsons
The Ballinasloe Says No committee is ready to challenge Galway County Council again. This decision is in direct opposition to the High Court Order of January 2022 which states that the previous permit granted on 15th April 2021 be quashed. The High Court Order points to adverse impacts to protected European sites.
GCC has granted another Permit within weeks of the High Court Order. The anger of the people of Ballinasloe and concerned groups is unfathomable. Galway County Council have shown blatant disregard for their concerns. The Ecology and Hydrology assessments commissioned by Ballinasloe Says No in the past have highlighted considerable risk to the Rivers Suck and River Shannon – which is the source of drinking water to tens of thousands of people in the locality. The River Suck Callows SPA (Special Protection Area under EU law) is at risk of contamination, especially at times of flooding which in turn would endanger several species of migratory and wintering birds.
Our expert ecology and hydrology assessments highlight the unsuitability of this site for a major waste facility. Hydrological links were identified connecting this site to the River Suck and Callows SPA. There is significant risk to the environment, wildlife, farm animals and people. However, despite all this, Galway County Council appear determined to steamroll this though.
Considering the first High Court Order specifically stated that a ‘Transfer Station’ waste facility should not be located at this site, it is incredulous that GCC have granted a permit for just that.
Access for these waste trucks is through our town, passing our Schools and Portiuncula hospital. It is in close proximity to numerous family homes. Noxious gases, dust, insects, and vermin would certainly cause health hazards. Leachate will contaminate the drinking water. We also have strong concerns over air pollution by these diesel trucks.”
We have contacted our legal advisors who will assess our options and the next course of action. We are very grateful to the ongoing support of the people of Ballinasloe and surrounding areas and appreciate the help we are receiving from concerned groups.”
PRO & Co-founder Ballinasloe Says No Senator Aisling Dolan
This is a disappointing decision by Galway Count Council after the most recent permit was quashed by Order of the High Court in January 2022. The Local Authority has decided to adjudicate and grant a new permit without a new application process or further information requested or supplied by the applicant.
Ballinasloe Says No to trucks passing by our schools, our playgrounds, our estates & Portiuncula Hospital. We say No to the damaging impacts to our health and to increased road safety issues. We say No to the inappropriate location, and we say no to damaging our environment. Thousands of families in Ballinasloe made submissions and attended public meetings making it clear that this is an inappropriate location for a waste transfer station. As a town, we have successfully challenged the decision by Galway County Council on 3 separate occasions in 1999, 2018 and 2021.
We are a local community group fighting for the health and safety of families in this area and to ensure the protection of our environment. Ballinasloe is now going to be a stop on the new Galway to Dublin Cycleway project through this same area of the Grand Canal, River Suck Callows and unique boglands full of biodiversity in Poolboy, a treasure for generations to come
I want to thank all who have helped with fundraising, and I call on the community of Ballinasloe to stand together and support Ballinasloe Says No in the time ahead.
Galway County Councillor Dr Evelyn Parsons
This is a devastating decision by Galway County Council and goes against the principles in the Local Area Plan and Galway County Development Plan in terms of health, safety and protecting our unique landscape and environment.
I have promoted the principles of Environmental Justice for ‘fair’ distribution of environmental benefits and burdens to enable communities such as our own equitable opportunities to prosper within the county in terms of environment, quality of life, health and future economic growth opportunities including attracting investment & sustainable tourism. Ballinasloe has shouldered the load of environmental burdens for decades and must be given its chance to thrive.
As a committee we have worked together to highlight the potential impacts of this development and we call on the Executive of Galway County Council to explain this decision. There are multiple tourism and sustainable environmentally sensitive projects starting here to for the benefit of the community and that is the direction Ballinasloe wants to develop.