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Ireland South MEP speaks out against cheese factory plans for South Kilkenny

"What we don't want is to become the dump of Europe" says Green MEP Grace O'Sullivan

An Ireland South MEP claims the cheese factory planned for South Kilkenny could see the country perceived as “the dump of Europe”.

Hopes for the €140 million Glanbia plant in Belview are still the subject of legal action by An Taisce, who say it will damage the environment by encouraging more intensive dairy farming.

The plans are being made in conjunction with Dutch company Royal A-ware, to supply cheese for the European export market.

However, Green MEP Grace O’Sullivan says they’ve only partnered up with Glanbia because they can’t build in their own country.

“The fact that this factory is moving to Ireland, and not operating out of the Netherlands, where they’re like ‘cheese country’ in a way- I mean why are they moving?” she questioned on Sue Nunn’s The Way It Is. “What we don’t want is to become the dump of Europe, where countries that won’t [build], or can’t do it, in their own countries because of planning restrictions move to Ireland instead because we’re seen as a soft touch.”

MEP O’Sullivan clarified she’s not against European companies coming into Ireland, but she doesn’t think this particular plan should go ahead.

“There’s a place for any company to come in, but if they’re not conforming and if they’re coming here because they cannot operate in their own country, because of planning and regulations, then I think we really need to question whether we want to encourage and entice this kind of factory into Ireland”.