Thursday 13 November 2008

Group opposing incinerator plans Obama-style drive

RESIDENTS fighting plans for a €75 million incinerator are planning an Obama-style fundraising campaign to cover potentially crippling legal costs.

The Cork Harbour Alliance for a Safe Environment (CHASE) said it is considering using an online donations system similar to the one used by US president-elect Barack Obama during his successful election campaign to build up a war chest.

It is facing a massive legal bill after the Supreme Court awarded costs on Tuesday to the State and Indaver following an unsuccessful legal challenge by CHASE.

Some 30,000 people have objected to Indaver’s project.

CHASE said it hopes communities in Cork Harbour who will be affected by Indaver’s controversial project will donate whatever they can — from €1 to €100 — to its campaign.

They are hoping they can raise enough to cover the legal costs in the event the State and Indaver decide to pursue them.

The organisation, which was set up seven years ago to fight the incinerator project, raises most of its money through the sale of €10 calendars.

CHASE spokeswoman, Mary Hurley, said the fundraising drive would also help foster a sense of “participatory democracy”.

“We are not some crackpot group with banners waving,” she said.

“Our communities are resilient. But people have a sense of being excluded from the democratic process. To try to stamp us out is outrageous,” Ms Hurley said.

CHASE reiterated its appeal to the Government yesterday not to pursue it for legal costs.

Indaver has said it has yet to make a decision on whether it will exercise its right to seek its costs in full.

The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and An Bórd Pleanála told the Supreme Court they will not be looking for their costs.

Irish Examiner

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