A GROUP of concerned locals from east Mayo have this week lodged an appeal with An Bord Pleanála against a decision by Mayo County Council to grant planning permission for an explosives depot near the villages of Kilkelly and Aghamore.
The group, calling themselves the ‘Anti Explosive Action Team’, had expressed their concerns in relation to the development to the Council, but permission was granted by the authority on October 16 last.
Irish Industrial Explosives Ltd, who are the country’s leading manufacturer and supplier of explosive products and accessories, have been granted permission for a general store, utility store, a magazine for the storage of commercial explosives, security fencing, lighting and a septic tank on a disused quarry site at Cloughvoley, which has been idle for close to a decade.
A spokesperson for the Anti Explosive Action Team said locals, especially those living in the townlands of Cloughvoley, Raith and Castletourley, were deeply concerned about the development.
“We just find it very strange that anyone would want to build an explosives depot in a rural area. Our main concerns are to do with security and traffic. There was coverage earlier this year in Northern Ireland about the fact that a lot of the explosives used by the IRA in the early seventies were stolen from this company’s factory in Clonagh, Enfield and an investigation stated there had been ‘a scandalous lack of security’ at their site.”
The spokesperson added that it just ‘didn’t make sense’ to locate a depot housing explosives in a rural area where 24 hour security would be needed.
“There is grave concern among the wider community as we feel this depot is probably going to serve the west and north of the country and trucks will probably be travelling this small rural road on a regular basis. Also, there were a lot of families planning to build houses in this area over the next few years but it’s hard to see them wanting to build now beside an explosives factory,” added the spokesperson.
Irish Industrial Explosive Limited headquarters are located in Dublin 4, their main factory is in Clonagh, Enfield in Meath and their main depot at present is in Ballygiblin, Co Cork. The appeal is now before An Bord Pleanála and a decision as to whether the development gets the full go-ahead is expected in the New Year.
Before lodging their application last April, the company did not disclose the name of the explosives to be stored in the east Mayo depot, saying only that they were ‘commercial explosives used for quarry operations throughout the country’.