RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta reported today that An Taisce is objecting to planning permission to build a factory in Cill Chártha, or Kilcar, in Donegal, because the five employees would have to use their cars to get there, something they say will damage the environment and add to pollution.
Michael McCloskey, owner of Algaran Teo in Cill Chathasaigh, Cill Chártha, is seeking planning permission to build a seaweed cosmetic factory beside the house where the factory is currently located. There are five employees at present in the factory, which makes cosmetics from seaweed harvested locally.
The development would increase the use of cars in the area, where there is very limited public transport, and this would be against the County Development Plan, according to An Taisce.
Today on Barrscéalta on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Eunan Mac Cuinneagáin, board member of Údarás na Gaeltachta, said that he had reacted with disbelief at the correspondence from An Taisce.
“An Taisce says on its website that it is working on behalf of the community.We all agree that the environment must be protected, but I don’t think this type of thing is helpful. It’s unbelievable.What are we going to do, close down all Gaeltacht areas because people are using cars?
“ It’s unbelievable…. Maybe this is a decision made by someone in an office in a city somewhere, where there is public transport to get people to work … but that’s not the case in rural areas. When I heard this first, I thought it was a pretence, that someone was joking and that the story wasn’t true, but then I saw the letter myself this morning … It’s very serious.”
He said he would be raising the matter at a meeting of Údarás na Gaeltachta, and hoped they could impress upon the County Council and An Taisce the importance of allowing developments like this to go ahead.
The Minister for State for the Gaeltacht, Joe McHugh TD, referring to this story on Barrscéalta today, said that small rural communities had to be sustained, and that jobs were badly needed in areas such as this (Cill Chártha). He said that is was the government’s job to ensure that.
The story was reported today on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta.