By Dan Walsh
Traditional tales from the fireside are certain to be extinguished from next year after an announcement today from the Minister for Environment Eamon Ryan TD directing a nationwide ban on the sale of smoky coals. The days of the ‘real coal fire’ are over for good!
Long time Wexford campaigner Senator Malcolm Byrne has welcomed the news of “better air quality.”
Senator Byrne said; “The levels of air pollution measured in Wexford’s four main towns were frightening. In many cases, levels of pollution were recorded at over ten times what is regarded as safe by the World Health Organisation. Enniscorthy and New Ross were particularly bad at times, but even Wexford town, which did have a ban on the sale of smoky coals in the town, still saw higher levels than were safe.”
In 2015, then Cllr Byrne brought a motion to Wexford County Council to make Wexford a smoky coal free zone. Moves for this to happen were resisted by the Department as it wanted to develop a nationwide ban. He has regularly raised the issue in Leinster House.
“I am happy this is finally happening and that our air quality will improve. There are more sustainable fuel sources available that are better value for money, including smokeless coal, and we need to promote their use,” concluded Senator Byrne.