Rather worryingly, a professor from University College Cork (UCC) has said that Enniscorthy is becoming the "New Delhi of Ireland" thanks to the high levels of air pollution in the town.
Speaking following the release of data which showed that air pollution is increasing across Ireland, Professor John Sodeau called for a nationwide smoky coal ban. He said the Moneypoint power station in Co Clare, which generates more than 20 per cent of the electricity in Ireland each year and sources nearly all its coal from Colombia, must also close. Professor Sodeau said:
The data from Enniscorthy is irrefutable. It is rapidly becoming the New Delhi of Ireland
The World Health Organisation previously described New Delhi's air quality as the worst of any major city in the world.
Data from the EPA shows that there was 84 breaches of air pollution limits so far this year. This is compared to 17 in all of 2018. Air pollution is measured by fine dust particles, or PM10 matter. There are 42 stations around the country which measure these particles. They come from exhaust emissions, soil and road surfaces, construction work and industrial emissions.
The PM10 daily limit of 50ug.m3 is considered breached if there are more than 35 breaches at one location in a calendar year. It is understood there have been 12 breaches in Enniscorthy so far this year compared to two in 2018. Air pollution levels in the town are 10 times over the EU limit.
The Government’s national ban on smoky coal, scheduled to be introduced this September, was pushed back in April. There is still no indication of when it will now come into force. 1,500 premature deaths in Ireland are attributable each year to poor air quality caused by solid fuel burning