Asbestos ...

The set of e-mails below started off in response to an Irish Times newspaper article regarding the illegal dumping of asbestos in the New Inn area of County Galway (Republic of Ireland).  There was some confusion regarding site locations, and an effort was made to clarify it.

Complications arose when a normally very reliable web site, which is closely related to this one, was suddenly found to have lost all of its services the following morning: without warning, and for no obvious reason.

Some parts of the information provided below also appear on pages
1 and 19 of the December 22nd 2001 edition of The Tuam Herald Newspaper.

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Dear John,

With due regard for the ongoing situation regarding the several "Law Court Tribunals" now in progress here in the Republic of Ireland, all of which (as I see it) involve political-type skulduggery of one kind or another, I feel I should mention to you that I believe there is a POSSIBILITY that there MIGHT be unlawful attempts made to interfere with the contents of some of the web sites I run: including the www.finnachta.com one which your company is at present hosting for me.

Although I did not mention anything about it to you in our telephone conversation of yesterday afternoon, I did send some e-mails last Friday which could (I suppose?) conceivably make some people feel a little uneasy. 

I have reproduced the set of e-mails in question below, and, as you will see, they contain a link to a www.finnachta.com page which has information regarding a recent petition (reference number 809/2001) that has been made to the European Parliament.

For some three years or so now, the unusually small rural parish I live in at the present time has been saddled with the threat of having a huge superdump thrust upon it .  As I understand it, there are plans to build the facility in question large enough to service the whole Province of Connacht; and, as is also the case with a number of other local heritage & environmental issues, there appears (to me) to be far too little regard being given by the planners to the democratic and legal rights (and wishes) of the local people.  It was the growing (and so far unresolved) tension surrounding these local heritage and environmental issues which eventually gave rise to the present existence of the petition to the European Parliament referred to in the paragraph immediately above.  In passing, and for your future reference, it may be worth relating to you that I have very recently been advised (by letter) that the appropriate European Parliament Committee will begin examining petition 809/2001 in January.

All things considered, and although it may appear strange to you, I cannot honestly say that I was entirely surprised to find that the www.finnachta.com web site was completely unavailable when I checked it early yesterday morning: though I fully realize of course that this sudden and lengthy failure might be nothing more than a complete coincidence. (To the very best of my knowledge, this was the first major failure at the site since you started hosting it for me last June.  Also, the site all seems to be working fine again since I spoke with you yesterday afternoon during my visit to your Athlone office.)

An article on page 11 of this week's edition of the Connacht Tribune newspaper relates that a local politician (Fianna Fail Councillor James Joyce) has firmly placed the blame - in a very angry, and in a very public way it seems - for two of the local environmental difficulties outlined in petition 809/2201 on:  a) Galway County Council; and, b) The Minister for Environment and Local Government (who, as you will know, is at present Mr. Noel Dempsey T.D.).

My hope now is that the public action taken by Councillor Joyce (at the recent annual "estimates" meeting referred to in the Connacht Tribune newspaper article of December 14th 2001), might represent some kind of a "turning-point" regarding our local environmental difficulties here in East Galway; and that there will be less need for me to be sending e-mails of this kind to anybody in the future.

Finally, the person I spoke with yesterday morning at your Maynooth office related something to me (just in passing) which suggested that the particular computer now hosting the www.finnachta.com site may be located in the United States.  Should this be the case, I would be very grateful to you if you would consider copying this e-mail to the appropriate service personnel in the U.S. 

With every Good Wish to both yourself and Lucia for Christmas and the New Year.

Sincerely,

Billy (Finnerty).

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E-MAIL:   wfinnerty@eircom.net
WEB SITE:   http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/
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----- Original Message -----

To: Junior Minister Noel Tracey T.D.
Cc: William Finnerty (Yahoo) ; William (Billy) Finnerty (Eircom a/c) ; W. Finnerty (Irish Times a/c) ; Liam O'Finnachta (finnachta.com) ; Billy Finnerty (MSN Hotmail)
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 12:56 PM
Subject: Fw: Irish Times article on asbestos dumping in New Inn (County Galway).


----- Original Message -----

To: paul.connaughton@oireachtas.ie ; ulick.burke@oireachtas.ie ; michael.kitt@oireachtas.ie
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 12:52 PM
Subject: Fw: Irish Times article on asbestos dumping in New Inn (County Galway).


----- Original Message -----

To: Fine Gael Party ; Labour Party ; Sinn Fein Party ; Green Party ; Democratic Left Party Cc: William Finnerty (Yahoo) ; William (Billy) Finnerty (Eircom a/c) ; W. Finnerty (Irish Times a/c) ; Liam O'Finnachta (finnachta.com) ; Billy Finnerty (MSN Hotmail)
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 12:39 PM
Subject: Fw: Irish Times article on asbestos dumping in New Inn (County Galway).


----- Original Message -----

To: Brendan & Helen Kelly
Cc: Tim O'Brien (Irish Times Newspaper) ; niallob@esatclear.ie ; Connacht Tribune Editor (Mr. John Cunningham)
Sent: Friday, December 14, 2001 10:21 AM
Subject: Irish Times article on asbestos dumping in New Inn (County Galway).

Helen,

I did see The Irish Times article earlier this week (which actually mentioned New Inn village).  There is also a similar piece on the front page of this week's Connacht Tribune newspaper.

I think both newspapers may have got things slightly mixed up regarding the proposed superdump at Cross, and the ACTUAL dump (now abandoned) beside the Hill of Grange in New Inn (which was operated by Galway County Council for 18 years or so between 1971 and 1989).  I suspect that this small piece of confusion has arisen because the two sites in question are just one mile or so apart.

With regard to the asbestos problem, my understanding is that some individual dumped asbestos on the surface of the abandoned New Inn site about a year or two ago.  Somebody else then informed Galway County Council about this, and they (or possibly some company acting on behalf of Galway County Council) later took practical steps to deal with the problem.  I further understand, from what one local person has told me (who claims to have watched the work which was carried out), that the asbestos was NOT removed from the site.  Instead, it was buried somewhere in or around the place where it was illegally dumped in the first place (i.e. in the original, and now largely abandoned, New Inn dump).

As I recall it, Junior Minister Noel Tracey T.D. sent letters to a number of households (including my own) in the New Inn area at the time - to inform people that the asbestos problem in question had been dealt with.  Consequently, I assume he knows all of the details (or has easy access to them).

Allowing for the general way in which Galway County Council appear to have run the New Inn dump between 1971 and 1989, not least the way they treated the Children's Graveyard (Site 93), it seems possible (to me at least) that just about anything you can think of in the line of hazardous and / or toxic materials may now be buried there.  At least one local person claims that at certain times toxic looking discharges (reddish in colour) can be seen seeping from it into a nearby stream.

I would like to take this opportunity to ask if anybody in authority is monitoring the situation regarding seepage from the now abandoned New Inn dump?  If not, I truly believe that they should be.  In terms of the local community, I suspect that the developing underground water situation is likely to be something of a health-hazard-time-bomb as far as the future is concerned.

Further information regarding the way Galway County Council deal with the ongoing New Inn dump difficulties can be seen at the www page address immediately below:
http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/chaplefinnerty/esker/riada2.htm

As can be seen in several pages on two of the web sites I run, numerous efforts have already been made (using the Internet and the registered postal service in combination) to bring problems of the above kind to the attention of people such as President Mary McAleese,  Prime Minister Ahern T.D.,  Environment Minister Noel Dempsey T.D., and Heritage Minister Sile de Valera T.D.

More recently, and because my earlier efforts (connected with local Irish people including those mentioned in the paragraph above) appeared to have completely failed, some of these issues have now been brought to the European Parliament (in the form of Petition number 809/2001). The European Union Environment Commissioner Ms Margot Wallstr÷m has also been informed regarding a selection of the several ongoing local environmental difficulties we have here in the New Inn area; and, the text of an e-mail to her dated November 26th 2001, together with scanned copies of 5 registered letter receipts, can now be seen at the address immediately below:
http://www.finnachta.com/eu-env-comm-m-wallstromm.htm

Regards,

Billy.
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E-MAIL:   wfinnerty@eircom.net
WEB SITE:   http://homepage.eircom.net/~williamfinnerty/
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----- Original Message -----
From: "Brendan Kelly" <kellybrendan@eircom.net>
To: <wfinnerty@eircom.net>
Sent: Thursday, December 13, 2001 12:28 AM
Subject: Fw: Toxic Dumping in Galway

> Hi Billy,
>
> Just after receiving this, maybe you've seen it already.
>
> Regards Helen



> -----Original Message-----
> From: Niall O'Brolchain <niallob@esatclear.ie>
> To: Undisclosed-Recipient:@wonka.esatclear.ie;
> <Undisclosed-Recipient:@wonka.esatclear.ie;>
> Date: 12 December 2001 23:46
> Subject: Toxic Dumping in Galway
>
> >Irish Times
> >Wednesday, December 12, 2001
> >Hazardous waste
> >found at dumps
> >
> >By Tim O'Brien, Regional Development Correspondent
> >Toxic and hazardous waste has been discovered at two sites in Co Galway
and may be present at a third, The Irish Times has been told .........

Full text of Irish Times "Hazardous Waste found at (Galway) dumps" article (of December 12th 2001) referred to above can be seen at:

List of threats to local environment

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First placed on Internet: December 18th 2001
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