Young local man Conal O’Boyle asked that the following be brought to the attention of both the local and wider community.

A chairde

I hope this letter finds you and your family in the best of health in the current situation. My name is Conal O’Boyle and I am the Green Party’s representative for the Buncrana/ South Inishowen Local Electoral Area. Today I am writing to you to ask for your support in a new campaign that has been started by residents in the Birdstown and Drumhaggart area of Muff.

Plans have been submitted to Donegal County Council in February 2020 for an asphalt plant at Gortneskea, Burnfoot. The site is situated behind the existing Barrs Pitt quarry at the foot of the Scalp Mountain.

Asphalt plants mix gravel and sand with crude oil derivatives to make asphalt to pave roads, carparks etc. They have a huge negative impact both from an environmental and public health perspective. They release harmful chemicals into the air during production, including arsenic, benzene, formaldehyde, and cadmium. Exposure to these toxins can cause cancer, central nervous system issues, respiratory problems, and skin irritations. Animal studies show that Polycyclic Aromatic Hydrocarbons (PAH’s) affect reproduction, cause birth defects, and are harmful to the immune system.

This development will have a direct impact on the area, and particularly the houses in the immediate locality to the site. I, along with a number of residents in the area have decided to begin a pressure building campaign, with the aim being to put pressure on the Donegal County Council to prevent planning permission being granted to this harmful project.

I would really appreciate it if you could please click on the link below to sign the online petition we have created. After you do this, you will be given the option of sharing the petition. Please do this also. The company who have lodged the planning application have been asked to re-apply for planning permission as soon as they obtain an Environmental Impact Statement. This could take some time, which is why I believe that starting a petition now will give us the best chance of getting as much support as possible.

The purpose of the petition is that when we go to file our planning objection, we will be able to say that the objection has the support of (x) amount of people. This is extremely important, as many planning objections get overlooked by Councils all over the country if they are only supported by a small number of people. Strength in numbers!

If you have any further queries or if you wish to seek any further information, please do not hesitate to contact me on 083 342 1179. You can also email me at [email protected].

Many thanks and best wishes

Conal O’Boyle