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Cork Lives
Haulbowline waste tip as seen from the channel between Haulbowline and Spike Island. Picture: Oisin MacSweeney
Haulbowline waste tip as seen from the channel between Haulbowline and Spike Island. Picture: Oisin MacSweeney
SOCIAL BOOKMARKS

Sea Echoes: Public concern about Cork Harbour continues to grow

PUBLIC concern about the heavy industrialisation of Cork Harbour is reflected in Emails received following last week’s column about Bord Pleanala and the Indaver incinerator proposed for Ringaskiddy. 

"Why are Cork politicians not expressing concern about the Naval Base? Why is there silence on the security threat?" were amongst the comments.

"There should be a public forum for Cork Harbour. People are not listened to. Making submissions is a façade. No real notice is taken." 

The only politician who responded was Tommy Broughan, the Dublin Independent TD who has pursued the issue in the Dáil. No Cork politician commented.

The impact of the proposed floating storage for LNG near Whitegate, Cork Port’s major development at Ringaskiddy and reports of more pharmaceutical projects in the area were highlighted.

The remediation of the Haulbowline Island toxic dump, amassed during the operations of Irish Steel and which is opposite the Cobh cruise ship terminal, was also raised by readers. 

"Sixteen years ago this was identified as a risk to human health, why has it taken so long?" 

Five years ago a previous County Council Chairman, said it would be turned into 'a fantastic park for the people of Cork.' 

According to the Minister for the Marine, it will be 'another jewel in the crown for Cork tourism.' 

A contract has been signed to commence remediation of the East Tip waste site. 

“When will it eventually be cleaned up?” readers asked. 

A maritime group has claimed the plans lack access provisions to and from the water. 

I asked the Marine Department about this and was told: “Following the conclusion of the remediation works on Haulbowline ownership of the island will be transferred to the Minister for Defence. Any decisions in relation to future use of the island will be a matter for the Minister for Defence." 

"So," as one reader wrote, "when exactly is Haulbowline going to be cleaned up?" 

REMEMBERING EDWARD BRANSFIELD 

"A great success and very well-supported. There is a lot of interest in Edward Bransfield," the organisers of last Friday night’s Heritage Week meeting in Midleton Library about the Ballinacurra man who first set eyes on Antarctica told me. 

"We are committed to giving him his rightful place in Irish history. Our objective is to continue to spread the word about him and to have a monument erected in 2020 to mark the 200th anniversary of his sighting of Antarctica."

Singer Cliff Wedgbury’s new ballad about Bransfield - ‘The Ballinacurra Boy’ - was given its first public performance in the library.

DEEP DOWN MICROPLASTICS 

RESEARCHERS at the Scottish Association for Marine Science in Oban, Scotland, have reported finding microplastics in marine creatures at depths of 2,000 metres. 

They took samples from deep-sea starfish and sea snails in the Rockall Trough and found microscopic traces of plastic in 48 per cent. 

Plastic ingestion levels were comparable to those found in species living in shallower coastal waters. Microplastics are small pieces of plastic less than 5 millimetres in size. 

There is concern that, when ingested by sea creatures, they could be passed up the food chain.

Tomorrow in ECHO SPORT – The latest sailing news.