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Need To Assess Air Quality In Carrigaline And Harbour

A call by Cllr Jack White (FG) for a report on air quality in Carrigaline town was fully supported at the monthly meeting of the County Council’s Carrigaline Municipal District (MD).

Writes Leo McMahon

Acknowledging the efforts by Cllr Seamus McGrath (FF) in securing the installation of an air quality monitor for the town, Cllr White said: ‘The issue is topical now because there is burning of solid fuels in the evenings and a lot of traffic in the county’s largest town and most urban MD in the county.’ There was need after its installation last autumn, he added, to get the data and help the Council make decisions on how to improve it.

Seconding, Cllr Michael Paul Murtagh (FG) said data on air quality in the industrialised Ringaskiddy and the Lower Harbour area should also be examined for the well-being of the residents. There were two monitoring stations in Cobh and some to the east and north but none serving Crosshaven and the bays.

Cllr McGrath, who said he first raised the issue at least 18 months ago and earlier that day at a meeting of the Southern Committee, supported the motion. Unfortunately, the smoke pollution was visible, especially on still winter evenings. However, the monitoring station was a welcome addition to Carrigaline and if the data could be obtained they could see its extent, he stated.

Cllr Marcia D’Alton (Ind) said that at present there was only a PM10 analysing node in the present monitor at Carrigaline and need for a PM2.5 that would detect smaller particles that can get into people’s lungs. This would give the MD much more meaningful information.

She pointed out that it was possible to see monitor readings online through the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) website (working in partnership with the council on air monitoring) but there was need to see long term trends over, for example, a six month period. She suggested the council’s environment directorate be asked to report in a few months’ time on what air quality was this winter.

Cllr White thanked members for supporting his motion and suggested they find out how long the monitor was operating since installation last autumn and when the second monitor would be provided.

Swan Protection

Cllr McGrath enquired about a motion he had adopted by the MD last year to seek the help of experts on how best to protect and support the future nesting of swans along the Owenabue estuary in Carrigaline, especially in the lagoon next to the Community Park.

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