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Incinerator brothers find there's no smoke without ire; ENVIRONMENT BODY SLAMS RONAN GOLDEN VALE PLANT FOUR TIMES.

Byline: DECLAN POWER

BOSSES behind a controversial incinerator plant have been slammed by the government's environmental watchdog on FOUR separate occasions.

The Ronan brothers already run a rendering factory on the same site as their proposed animal burning plant.

The EPA (Environmental Protection Agency) criticized the running of it by brothers Jack, Davis and Louis Ronan's company National By-Products.

Neighbours in Rosegreen, south Tipperary - backed by racing legend Aidan O'Brien and his friend Manchester United boss Alex Ferguson - say the fumes from the planned incinerator will poison them, their livestock and their land.

And Coolmore Stud boss O'Brien has even threatened to quit Ireland for America if it goes ahead.

The EPA also blamed the brothers for polluting the River Moyle with slurry spread on their farm in Mocklerstown a few miles away.

A spokesman for anti-incinerator campaigners STAC said: "This is how National By-Products/Ronans run a rendering plant. Imagine how they'd run an incinerator."

The Golden Vale has Europe's finest grazing land and is home to the some of the country's best dairy herds and studs. In July 1999 an EPA report said: "Lack of attention to the most important aspects governing the environmental operations of this activity. It is the view of this audit team that a real and significant environmental risk exists."

Just a month later the EPA said: "We are extremely concerned at the level of non-compliance at this facility." A follow-up inspection nearly a year later in May 2000, left the inspectors still concerned.

"The inspection again raises concern expressed in previous audits," it said.

A year later the EPA found them burning rubbish - including plastic containers, cans, old hoses and brown sludge - which was prohibited under their licence.

And in March this year the EPA again blasted the Ronans.

"The River Moyle has been polluted by the various activities of Ronans' enterprises in the Rosegreen area for many years.

"Their activities at Rosegreen and Mocklerstown are responsible for the on-going pollution in the river and for the recent serious deterioration.

"The investigations of March 2002 show that the condition of the river has deteriorated to a considerable extent.

"These investigations have established that National By-Products Ltd. are clearly in breach of conditions of their licence."

Muckspreading on their farm sparked unsightly slime growth, a sign of serious pollution.

The Irish Sunday Mirror revealed how the Ronan brothers were behind the sponsors of Tipperary's All-Ireland hurling champs Enfer.

The company is believed to have signed a deal worth e600,000 with the Tipp GAA to have the players wear the company's name on their shirts.

Hundreds of locals in the Golden Vale have joined forces to stop the incinerator being built.

The plans were given the go-ahead by South Tipperary County Council but it has not yet been built.

Horse trainer John Magnier and composer Andrew Lloyd-Webbe, who owns a home nearby, have both joined the South Tipperary Anti-Incinerator Campaign known as STAC.

CAPTION(S):

UNDERFIRE: Rendering facility boss Jack RonanCOMPANY: Louis Ronan of National By-Products; PROPOSALS: The Ronans plan to build an incinerator; PROTEST: Some of the signs outside the Ronans' factory; OUTRAGE: Our page one and disgusted stud farm owner Aidan O'Brien
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Publication:Sunday Mirror (London, England)
Date:Jul 21, 2002
Words:530
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