Calls for 'heads to roll' over Lanesboro ESB power plant closure

Liam Cosgrove

Reporter:

Liam Cosgrove

Email:

liam.cosgrove@longfordleader.ie

ESB

There are calls for “heads to roll” over a decision to shut down operations at the  Lough Ree power plant in Lanesboro.

There are calls this week for “heads to roll” over a decision to shut down operations at the  Lough Ree power plant in Lanesboro.

ESB chiefs announced at the weekend of its move to suspend production at its south Longford facility amid concerns over hot water discharges from it into the River Shannon.

The decision has been met with much concern amongst the local fishing community and by local politicians.

One of those, Independent Cllr Mark Casey said he was still at a loss to explain the rationale behind the move.

“It’s absolutely dreadful that it has to be shut down,” he said. 

“There has always been a hot water stretch and I don’t know why it is a problem now. 

“There has to be a happy medium here and the whole thing just beggars belief. 

“At the end of the day these are jobs in rural Ireland and it’s not just the ESB who are affected here, it’s Bord na Móna too.”

Such was his level of anger over the controversy, Cllr Casey said there was a real and pressing need for accountability to be shown.

“To think a power station could be closed on a whim by some penpusher in Dublin and production has to be stopped is just crazy. 

“I would love to see the science behind all of this because when all of this is proven to be pie in the sky heads should roll over this.”

In a statement, the ESB said its stance hadn’t changed from the weekend and confirmed it was seeking an amendment to its environmental licence in relation to its cooling water discharge temperature in the River Shannon.

The Environmental Protection Agency followed a similar tone, saying that because it had initiated court proceedings in relation to the temperature issue and breaches of the licence condition, it was unable to comment any further at this juncture.