Calls for a specific emergency response plan for the Ringaskiddy area were made to County Hall this week citing the January fire as a reason for why such a thing should exist.
Fianna Fáil Councillor Seamus McGrath said one of the issues that arose at the time fo the fire was that residents felt there was a significant lack of communication and information to them.
Mr McGrath while he acknowledged the council had a major emergency plan for responding to major incidents across the Cork County, the councillor said there should be a specific plan for the area because of the concentration of industry within a small area, and the proximity there is to the residents in the area.
In response to the motion, the Council executive provided a written statement, which outlined that three site-specific emergency plans exist within the industry on the peninsula.
“The Health & Safety Authority has determined that there are 3 such sites in the greater Ringaskiddy area (Pfizer, Novartis, and Thermo Fisher). External Emergency Plans (EEPs) are in place for each of these sites. These plans are jointly prepared by Cork County Council, the Health Service Executive and an Garda Síochána. EEPs are reviewed and tested in conjunction with individual site operators on a 3-yearly cycle in consultation with the Health & Safety Authority and the Environmental Protection Agency.”
Mr McGrath said “If we are relying on these emergency plans within the sites, I think we need to engage with the Port of Cork in relation to the development of such a plan for their holding given its proximity to the residents The councillor also made the point that these plans should be made more accessible to the residents of Ringaskiddy.
“I would ask that the concept of an overall plan would be developed for the area would be looked at because I do think the area is deserving of such a plan.”
Fine Gael Councillor Aidan Lombard supported the motion along with Independent Councillor Marcia D’Alton who said the council had been lucky the wind had been blowing the way it was on the day of the fire or the M28, which is the only road in and out of Ringaskiddy, would have been blocked off.
Mrs D’Alton said that there were lessons to be learnt from the fire and now was the time to learn them.