Strathfoyle and Culmore health concerns

Martin McCartney, (Maydown Community Association), Claire King (NI Youth Forum), Eamonn O'Donnell (Enagh Youth Forum), Ann Gormley (Maydown CA) and Lorraine McCartney (Maydown CA).  (1101JB53)
Martin McCartney, (Maydown Community Association), Claire King (NI Youth Forum), Eamonn O'Donnell (Enagh Youth Forum), Ann Gormley (Maydown CA) and Lorraine McCartney (Maydown CA). (1101JB53)

Derry City Council has appointed consultants to undertake a Health Impact Assessment (HIA) to determine the potential health impacts on local people of “existing and proposed industrial activities” in the Lisahally, Maydown and Culmore areas.

Today will see the first consultations, with local people into the major assessment with residents in the named ares invited to attend information sessions at the Strathfoyle Teachers’ Training Centre and Thornhill College.

Enagh Youth Forum, one of the Strathfoyle based groups which has lobbied continuously for the Health Impact Assessment, has welcomed today’s consultation events and is asking as many local people as possible to attend.

Speaking on behalf of the group, local campaigner Paul Hughes said: “Last year representatives from Enagh Youth Forum, Strathfoyle Women’s Activity Group and Maydown Community Association presented as a deputation to Derry City Council’s Environmental Services Committee to request a Health Impact Assessment be carried out in Strathfoyle and Culmore to ascertain if there is any correlation between high industry and the health and well-being of the local population.

“DCC have now appointed consultants to carry out this hugely important piece of work. This is an opportunity for local residents to engage with the consultants and raise their concerns. We will also voice our concern that an evening consultation event is also needed.

“This is a chance for people to come out and discuss directly their concerns with these consultants. Last year there was an incinerator proposed for the area - over 10,000 people opposed this, we would encourage everyone who opposed the incinerator to come along and discuss why they were opposed to it, specifically in relation to health concerns and environmental concerns.”

Mr Hughes said there was also concern about the issue of fly infestations during the summer months of 2013 as well as many concerns regarding odours emanating from grain storage sheds, the local sewerage treatment plant and local companies.

“Many others are concerned, with many other proposed industrial developments for the area and the fact that the Planning Service NI has designated all the land remaining around the Strathfoyle and Maydown areas for further industrial activity,” added Mr. Hughes.

Today’s consultation events will take place at the following locations.

From 2-30pm - 4:30pm at the Strathfoyle Teachers Training Centre and from 6-30pm-8.30pm at Thornhill College. All are welcome to attend.

Paul Hughes added that many residents felt an evening session was also necessary for the Health Impact consultations.

He says local groups will continue to ask for an evening session to take place.