By Dan Walsh
There is a palpable anger at the lack of action by Wexford County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in relation to the obnoxious odours constantly diminishing the quality of life in the neighbourhood and the town of Gorey from the compost plant on Ballyminaun Hill.
About 30 residents attended a public meeting last night (Thursday) held in the Barnadown Equestrian Centre and there was anger and support for the campaign to be stepped up as the winter months approach.
The attendance included Cllrs Joe Sullivan and Diarmuid Devereaux while apologies were noted on behalf of Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin. Mr Dermot Leahy attended on behalf of the Environment Section of Wexford County Council.
WexfordLocal.com understands that representatives of the Custom Compost Plant were invited to attend the meeting, but there was no response!
It was a lively discussion with the residents standing firm in their quest for a clean environment and the campaign is set to drag on. There is also grievous disappointment locally that Wexford County Council and the EPA have not done enough and the residents of Ballyminaun Hill feel strongly that they have been let down badly at official level.
Three angry residents from Ballyminaun Hill were guests of Wexford County Council at the June meeting where Cllr Joe Sullivan raised several issues relating to an obnoxious odour emanating from a compost plant.
Submissions were made by the plant owner in 2012 and 2017 and an extension to the chimney stack was added but the smell persists, and the neighbours have resorted to public protest and are calling for a quick solution to a long-standing problem.
CEO, Tom Enright told the members that Wexford County Council was aware of the situation at the mushroom compost site and indicated that there is a proposal by the owners for an alternative system. Mr Enright was assured of “the goodwill to get the matter resolved and find a good technical solution.”
Cllr Fionntán Ó Súilleabháin supported Cllr Sullivan and stated that the Ballyminaun smell affects the school’s environment in Gorey town where there are over 1,000 students.
Cllr Diarmuid Devereux, who told the members that he lives in the area, was critical of the compost plant owners and their lack of communication with the neighbouring households and outlined that in 2012 planning permission was granted to deal with the problem.
“It’s appalling, nobody should have to put up with that stink” and he added it is not about conflict between the jobs and people’s wellbeing – it is possible for a trap and hold system in a confined space – it has been going on for ten years and he concluded “while the company representatives will talk to the Executive they will not speak with the neighbours.”