I wrote recently that, while Cement Roadstone Holdings (CRH) have been brought to account for breaking the law in a number of countries, they seem to be immune from accountability in Ireland.
The latest controversy surrounding this very powerful company involves a farmer in Kilkenny who has been trying for the last 19 years to find out what’s been contaminating his livestock (Six One News, 8th report).
The farmer, Dan Brennan, claims that the highly toxic substance cadmium is the cause and most likely comes from a neighbouring brick factory owned by CRH.
CRH strenuously deny the claim.
After years of investigation the Dept. of Agriculture published an 800 page report on the matter earlier this month and it is this report that has shocked MEPs on the EU Petitions Committee.
It seems that because cadmium levels were so high in bovine blood samples that those conducting the investigation decided that the samples must have been contaminated and therefore excluded them completely from the analysis.
The first and most obvious thing to be noted here is that this bizarre decision by Dept. of Agriculture officials appears to be of benefit to CRH, who have always claimed cadmium levels around the factory are in fact very small.
The second point to note is the damage such inexplicable but suspicious decisions do to Ireland’s already tattered reputation.
Such considerations don’t seem to matter, however, when the interests of powerful organisations are at stake as the recent Jim Flavin/DCC farce amply demonstrated.