Do the Taoiseach and the Government regard the Naval Base at Haulbowline as secondary to Indaver?
That question has been raised with me by Naval Service personnel since Bord Pleanála deferred, for the fourth time, its decision on the incinerator at Ringaskiddy.
At the Bord’s public inquiry it was described by the Department of Defence as having “strategic implications” for the State. As previously reported in this column, when asked to comment in the Dáil, the Taoiseach avoided expressing direct support for the Navy and Air Corps position. So did his Minister of State for Defence, Paul Kehoe.
The Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment, Chairperson Mary O’Leary, described as “outrageous” that Bord Pleanála is going back to Indaver allowing the company further input on this issue. “Indaver have no jurisdiction to advise Bord Pleanála on matters of national strategic importance. Why is the company being given another opportunity to shoehorn their facility into such a clearly unsuitable location?” she asked.
Cork affords its citizens the opportunity to walk close to the River Lee at several points around the city.
Crossing Parliament Bridge this week I stopped to look upriver towards the South Gate Bridge, admiring the riverscape when a business owner in the area came up to me and said: “Not every business person supports the Chamber of Commerce’s backing for river walls.”
The proposed flood-defence scheme continues to be controversial. Spending €140m on them is a big investment. The Office of Public works maintains that the walls won’t be unsightly, but haven’t convinced everyone. Whatever happens, Cork people must not forget that our “Beautiful City” has, throughout its history, been dependent on the river.
INTERNATIONAL INTEREST IN THE RIVER RACE
Seventy boats have already signed up for this year’s Ocean-to- City Race. “Some of our participants are coming from afar,” the organisers, Meitheal Mara, told me. “They include East Arm Rowing Club from the USA; Kaag Dragons from The Netherlands and the London Port Authority from the UK.” RÁS MÓR, the ocean-to- city race will be held on Saturday, June 10. A Dublin crew has told the organisers they intend to row from Dun Laoghaire to Cork to take part! Naomhóga Chorcaí are building a 4- hand Namhóg for the race.
ENCOURAGING EDUCATION ABOUT THE OCEANS
NUI Galway has developed a marine science iBook to raise awareness of the influence of the oceans on our lives. “A sea change is what we want to encourage,” the authors say. Itis called ‘Harmful Algal Blooms’ and tells how these occur when algae, plants that live in the sea, grow out of control producing toxic, harmful effects on fish, shellfish, marine mammals and birds, causing at times the ‘red tide’.Dr.Robin Raine, NUI Lecturer and author, said it is aimed primarily at young students and will also introduce them to other important features of our oceans.”
BY SUBMARINE TO SEE THE TITANIC
For $100,000 a London tour company is offering a submarine tour of the wreck of the Titanic. Blue Marble Private says it will run 8-day tours next year, with OceanGate, Inc., a manufacturer of manned submersibles, to take nine people at a time from the coast of Newfoundland on a deep ocean discovery mission to the Titanic “reaching depths of 4,000 metres in a specially designed titanium and carbon fibre submersible, guided by a crew of experts.” That’s what they promise!
EVENING ECHO SPORT TOMORROW: The latest in sailing.