The man who topped the poll in the recent European Election in Dublin claims the recent increase in air-pollution in Ireland could cause people to die early. Ciarán Cuffe was reacting to reports that air pollution has risen significantly in the capital as well as Enniscorthy, Dundalk and Cork. The Green Party MEP has called on the government to act. “I think it is a real cause for concern,” he said. “I think we need to get clearer data from the Environmental Protection Agency and we need to act on that date.”
Ireland has a relatively low level of air pollution compared to other European countries, however, according to a European Environment Agency 2018 report, there are 400,000 premature deaths in Europe annually related to air pollution and over 1,000 of these happen in Ireland. “We already know that there are almost 1,000 premature deaths in Ireland from air quality and the government needs to up its game in reducing the factors that are contributing to this.”
From a press release issued in April, prior to the European Election, Councillor Ciarán Cuffe, said “People need to know what is causing the high levels of air pollution in Dublin City today. The EPA needs to comment on their data and clarify what is causing this air pollution. Is it dust being blown north from the Sahara, or is it caused by local pollution from heating systems or vehicles? It may be a combination of factors and we need a clear statement as to the cause.
“Back in 2018 the EPA told us that Ireland’s emissions were going in the wrong direction for people to benefit from cleaner air, and that emissions of ammonia, nitrogen oxides and non-methane volatile organic compounds were increasing. In the previous year the then Minister Naughten announced that he would double the amount of air monitoring stations in the country. This has not occurred in Dublin. In my own electoral ward of the North Inner City the only air monitoring station on Coleraine Street in Dublin 7 was closed last year. It is unacceptable that a disadvantaged inner-city community has no access to clear data about air quality in their area.
“High levels of particulates such as PM10s are a real threat to human health and EPA and Minister Richard Bruton TD should clarify the cause of this pollution and outline what measures they intend to take in the short-term to address this.”