State Must Intervene in Slivermines Land

Posted by Alan Kelly on March 13, 2017 at 11:13 AM

I beleive that the State has to intervene and invest on behalf of the people of the Silvermines in the old mining lands.

We've had some very positive developments in the Silvermines in recent times with the announcement of the Hydro Electric Project which is progressing along nicely. I've had several meetings in relation to the project in recent months and I expect there will be a further update on the progression of the project before the Summer. This is an incredible project that will supply up to 10% of the country's electricity when completed. It will provide employment and also clean up an environmental legacy.

However, we also have the rather concerning developments regarding some of the other old mining lands in the area and they need to be addressed.

Firstly, we need to see the completion of the CPO of the lands at the Gortmore Tailings Pond once and for all. This was first announced in 2013 by the Department of Energy but has not been completed. It needs to be immediately. The idea that the rehabilitated lands there that cost millions to the taxpayer would now be ripped up because of the imposition of animals on the land is absolutely unacceptable in the extreme to me.

Secondly, the Department working with Tipperary County Council need to map out other lands that need to be compulsorily purchased in the area. Lands are now being put on the open market which in my view should be taken over by the state. It is not acceptable to me that such former mining lands would be traded by individuals and possibly developed thereby potentially causing risk to animal and in particular human health. As a local TD I know all about the local issues that we have had in the area over the years and we have a duty to protect those living there and their livelihoods.

In order to progress these issues, I have arranged a meeting with Minister Sean Kyne, who has responsibility for natural resources in the Department of Energy. This meeting will take place in the coming weeks and I've already requested that the Council and local residents attend this meeting.

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