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Dublin: 7 °C Sunday 17 November, 2019

The ban that stopped scenes like this is going nationwide

Smoky coal is being banned across the country from the end of 2018.

original Smog in Ballyfermot, Dublin, 1988. Source: Brand New Retro

A BAN ON smoky coal in the capital is going nationwide more than two decades after the measure was first introduced in the capital.

By 1990 winter smog had become a major health issue in Dublin, prompting a ban to be put in place by then Fianna Fáil junior minister Mary Harney.

Following it success, it was rolled out to Cork five years later and is now in place in 26 different towns and cities across the country.

9/12/2009 Budget 2009 Mary Harney announce Budget 2010. Source: James Horan/

Now Minister for the Environment Alan Kelly has announced it will be extended nationwide.

“It is right to extend the benefits of the ban on smoky coal nationwide,” he said this morning.

These benefits include very significant reductions in respiratory problems and indeed mortalities from the effects of burning smoky coal.

shutterstock_226065004 Source: Shutterstock/yuratosno3

He estimated that 8,000 lives have been saved in Dublin because of the ban, and that the health and economic benefits of a nationwide ban could be in the region of €53 million per year.

Areas where smoky coal is banned in favour of smokeless or ‘clean’ coal, which is processed to produced lower smoke levels, experience a boost in air quality, studies have shown.

The ban is due to come into effect by the end of 2018.

‘It creeps menacingly’: When deadly smog choked Dublin’s skies >

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Nicky Ryan

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