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OPW Floodmap website embarrasses Government

category national | environment | news report author Tuesday October 17, 2006 09:47author by H20 Report this post to the editors

Planning sensibly in a wet country

Want to see if you need those new wellies? You can check it out now on www.floodmaps.ie

There is a big publicity push today for the launch of the new OPW flooding maps website – Minister Tom Parlon on Morning Ireland saying it is intended to inform Planners about areas to avoid etc. and contains all the data on floods in the last 100 years that we need to remember when planning development in the future. Awkwardly for the Government and its buddies in Indaver Ireland the website has the 2004 flood report and photos of the floodwaters by the planned Indaver toxic waste site near Ringaskiddy – log onto www.floodmaps.ie and look up Ringaskiddy for the details. Thanks to the OPW for this opportunity to remind the media and public of the craziness of Bord Pleanala in overturning their Inspector who recommended refusal of planning permission on this critical issue. Common sense (not to mention the WHO who should know a bit about hazardous waste risks) tells us not to put a hazardous waste incinerator and huge toxic waste store in a floodplain, but An Bord Pleanala says it knows better – time is continuing to reveal who was right and it wasn’t the Board.

Related Link: http://www.floodmaps.ie
author by W. Finnerty.publication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 20:01author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Ahern (please refer to postings above),

Without wishing to be in any way disrespectful to you, it is nevertheless the case that I think you are waffling and "spinning" at a tremendous rate, and I truly hope nobody is going to be deceived by you.

In a letter sent through the registered post to Minister for Justice McDowell TD dated August 4th 2006, I have put it to him that he and his senior public official colleagues are violating the Constitution of Ireland (Bunreacht na hEireann) regarding their failure to have this international agreement (i.e. The Aarhus Convention Agreement) "laid before Dail Eireann" - as is required under Article 29.5.1.

The text of the letter in question, together with a copy of the Post Office receipt, can be seen at the following location:

Well over three months later, Minister McDowell has not replied to me regarding the letter at the above address; and, the reason he has not replied is (in my view) because he knows perfectly well that what I am saying is entirely true. Why else would he be sticking his head in the sand like an ostrich? Why is he not replying in the way a responsible Minister for Justice (who is obviously not an ostrich) could reasonably be expected to reply?

With regard to the subject of incinerators, all of my investigation suggest that for reasons to do with frighteningly large amounts of "Illuminati" type political, legal, and corporate corruption, a lot of information is being kept from the public which they should know about.

Consequently, I am providing some quotes below from United States chemistry professor Dr Paul Connett's talk on Saturday, March 27, 1999 - which relate in part to the cancer causing dioxins from incinerators, and also to the way such pollution is linked with corruption:

"The bad law of pollution is - The level of pollution increases directly, community by community, state by state, with the level of corruption. The more corrupt your state, the more polluted your state would be or your town."

"That's the bad law. The good law says: The level of pollution decreases systematically as the level of public participation increases. The more we are involved the less polluted and the less threatened we are by these authorities. To put it another way, polite people get poisoned; angry people get organized. And that's what this is all about, this conference. It's to take that anger and make it work for you. Instead of making you depressed, making you agitated. There's nothing wrong with anger. There's a hell of a lot wrong with cynicism. But there's nothing wrong with anger. It's very healthy."

"But we have to struggle to indicate that this equally devastating threat from within from organochlorines, PCBs, dioxins and germs building up in the environment, in our foods, in our human tissues and in our breast milk. And although the emphasis has been on breast milk, even before we get to the breast milk stage the baby has been bathed with these things in the womb."

"When the people lead, eventually the leaders will follow."

For the full text of Professor Connett's talk on March 27th 1999 please see:

Additional articles by Dr Paul Connett on the health dangers associated with incinerators can be found at:

For information on Dr Paul Connett and his work involving Resource Recovery Parks (RRPs) - which provide a much safer alternative to incinerators - please see:

In so far as I can judge, the "Illuminati" are totally opposed to RRPs: for the simple reason they involve much more labour, and consequently get seriously in the way of the vast sums of "easy" money that can be made by ensuring waste is disposed of through the use of highly profitable land-fill sites and incinerators instead.

Related Link: http://www.europeancourtofhumanrightswilliamfinnerty.com/
author by C Murraypublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 15:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The present PPP is weighted towards interests that are not for the community good.
The plethora of legislations regarding development as opposed to Habitat Protections
and Heritage Protections bear this out.

The lack of an intelligent and well thought out plan that encompasses both the
need for development and the protection of our environment shows a government
that is willing to put the needs of business before the need of ordinary people,
except Mr Mc Dowell (who is, as we all know an exceptional NIMBY)

The Glass works at Ringsend has been sold for millions to a developer, name of Mc Namara.
We export our glass recycling by barge and make pretty ads about reducing, reusing and re-cycling.
The government encourages petrol dependence- instead of a public transport service we have
the DTA - shortspeak for Privatisation.

The PPP is tripartite- but two parts are vested interests and the consulatative process
is a joke, it alienates communites, in the case of the M3, the NRA has put in writing
that a route will not be changed beyond EIS. That is not consultative.

In Ringsend , there will be an incinerator which involve not only the dioxin problem
but the transport of heavy trucks through small community areas. Mc Namara
will be building 'Incinerator view' apartments for the people who have no choice but to
buy and consume in Dublin-future ghettoes.

Indaver may bring people to see its waste disposal facilities- but if you had ears
you would hear how people in Sandymount were bullied into these type of Junkets
in order that they put their name to this particular project- two people have told me
of the type of persuausion that goes into providing a 'positive focus group'.

Now, all that would be dandy but it has been proven again and again that the planning
system is weighted towards enrichment of a few people and that they go to any means
to ensure that however cracked the plans are- and they have been, that they will be built
and no-one gives a feck about community, Indeed, as we see community is isolated
and marginalised through all stages of planning . Look at the effect of corruption
on areas like Lucan, Adamstown and Clondalkin. It is Clintelist politics/ council lobbying
and TD favouring pure and simple. ( look at Rossport)

author by John Ahern - Indaverpublication date Sun Nov 12, 2006 13:04author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'm sure the people who took the time to visit Belgium to inform themselves of the issues would not like being called "some eejits". Is it better that they stay at home and blindly oppose a project. Would this allow for informed public participation under the convention. The convention says we should facilitate public participation.

Or is it to be, lets not get informed in case our long held beliefs are wrong?


author by C Murraypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 18:05author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Aarhus convention has not been transposed into Irish law.

Mr Roche has clearly stated that he intends to transpose 'elements' of aarhus into
Irish Law, not the Bill in toto.

and whilst indaver may rub up people by bringing them to see incinerators, that is not
indicative of anything except a multi-national with a big budget playing carrot and stick
with some poor eejits.

With regard to SIB, being watertight etc- the thing is flawed and a medium between
the Cullen proposed CIB and Mr Mc Dowell's desire not to lose his power-base in

Unfortunately the politicos have not found a way yet to escape the illusion of Mandate
and their job still relies on the 'x' in the box.

SIB- reduces individual/community right to fair and affordable access to judicial
process in relation to decisions by ABP.

It will ony recognise and fund NGO's with 12 month's inception.

It facilitates the lobbyists by subdividing ABP and re-structuring the courts to fast-track
planning projects.

Meanwhile the government has refused to put in place protections for Habitat/monuments.
Torn up the NMA.
Abolished Duchas.

and imprisoned and beaten up people who were screwed over (forgive my french) by
the PPP framework.

Therefore it would seem that Mc Dowell's happy medium (SIB) should be
the focus of awareness for people subject to fast-track planning ;and an election issue.

if you want a more considered response I can publish the mitigating elements of SIB here.

author by John Ahern - Indaverpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 16:40author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The Poolbeg incinerator is not an Indaver project. We didn't even tender for it. Therefore it would be wrong for us to comment in any detail on it.

The SIB is supposed to fast track key infrastructure however the first few projects to be proposed under the bill will inevitably be challenged in the Irish/European Courts so they will probably be anything bur fast tracked. It might have been better to leave the planning system alone. Even though it was slow, it worked.

We have studied the SIB and would be of the view that legal challenges will fail i.e. The bill is sound but it may take several years of delay until this is proven.

We don't believe the Irish system ignores the Aarhus Convention. We have applied and received planning consent on a number of projects in Ireland in the last eight years and the public participation opportunities have been numerous.

Each time we apply for an incinerator, for example, we have applied to a Local Authority. A notice is published and the public are invited to comment. If a positive decision is given the public can object or make observations to ABP. They may also seek an oral hearing. In both instances, our proposed Cork and Meath incinerators, oral hearing were granted. The Cork one lasted three and a half weeks. All had full public and media participation (daily reports).

We also need a waste licence and when we apply to the EPA a similar public notice is published. The public can again object or comment on the proposal or seek and oral hearing. Again in both cases oral hearings were granted. The Cork one again lasted over two weeks.

In addition each decision by ABP or the EPA can be challenged by way of Judicial Review. Again this has been done in Meath and Cork. A decision in the High Court in our favor has also been challenged in the Supreme Court. If the public don't like the decision of the Supreme Court they may also challenge the decision to the European Court.

These are the statutory obligations and system. In addition Indaver have held numerous public information days on our projects and called and attended public meeting. We have taken over 300 people to Belgium to see our facilities. Many of the people who traveled were opponents of our projects. Most of this was done to assist public debate. I think we have even developed a reputation for seeking public debate and participation. We also publish full details of our projects including free access to our EIS on our website. For completeness all communications with Government Departments of Local Authorities are also published on the web.

We believe in the Aarhus Convention. We believe as we are proposing to build facilities in someone else's back yard we have a duty and a responsibility to explain ourselves, provide public information and assist public participation. The Aarhus Convention is alive and well and operating in Ireland.


Related Link: http://www.indaver.ie
author by C Murraypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 15:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Roche affirmed that he would transpose 'elements' of Aarhus in to Irish law-
this is for the media,to imply fairness , the fine detail of the SIB however shows
quite plainly that it applies only to recognised environmental NGO's with the
protection of the environment their stated purpose. SIB envisages the restructuring
of the legal processes around planning including creating a separate division within
the courts to deal with ABP decisions.

The SIB, as stated before is deeply anti-citizen and focussed to the Corporate
lobby. It started its journey through the Oireachtas on June 16th and will
create more than one Rossport. The question for Ahern was simply this ,
is he aware that SIB-the most contentious piece of legislation ever drafted in this
country leaves out the Poolbeg incinerator project located in Michael Mc Dowell's

This appalling piece of legislation has been in the public domain for months,
is it enough that ordinary people are criminalised for opposing a high pressure
pipeline whilst the Tanaiste can oppose the CIB and facilitate his power seat
through the SIB?

SIB will affect community in a negative way. At the moment the decisions in planning
through the PPP and the courts are weighted against communities in an unacceptable
manner -this legislation will further that alienation and increase the role of the vested
interests to the detriment of community and individuals.

author by W. Finnerty.publication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:46author address author phone Report this post to the editors

I'd like to ask Mr John Ahern (Indaver) about his views on the United Nations Aarhus Convention Agreement which the Republic of Ireland signed in 1998 - and then went on to completely undermine in all respects ever since?

Some basic information on the Aarhus Convention Agreement can be found at the following address:

I'd also like to know what Mr Ahern thinks of the way the government is showing absolutely no sign whatsoever - after 8 long years please note - of having this "international agreement" (i.e. the Aarhus Convention Agreement) "laid before Dail Eireann" - as is required under Article 29.5.1 of Bunreacht na hEireann (the Republic of Ireland's Constitution)?

Do you (Mr Ahern) believe the government is acting lawfully in regard to their handling of the Aarhus Convention Agreement? - and if so, why?


author by C Murraypublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 14:07author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Are you available to comment on why the Poolbeg incinerator project has been left
out of the Strategic infrastructure Bill?

This was stated by Minister Roche on the 16th Feburary at the Launch of the bill,
it was reported in the Irish Times by Tim o Brien and here by me. The Incinerator
at Poolbeg is contentious locally and situated in the present Tanaiste and Minister
for Justice's Constituency. The SIB will include all major infrastructure projects, whilst
having no doubt that it will be pushed through ,the report by O Brien contends that
The present Tanaiste lobbied against the original CIB mooted by Cullen and opted
for the Planning and development Bill which I am sure you are aware.

The result of leaving Poolbeg out of a major planning bill reeks of Ministerial
interference in the Planning process which already mitigates against community
concerns on health issues.

The Launch reports are in the Irish Times for 16th/17th Feb.
The Bill is available in the Oireachtas debates for the 16th June 2006.

Mr Roche's comments are available on the SIB links on this site.
SIB also reduces the citizen's right to affordable judicial process in relation
to ABP decisions.

Related Link: http://www.indymedia.ie/article/79601
author by John Ahern - Indaverpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:48author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Just noticed the other part of the question. The same answer applies to me personally.


author by John Ahern - Indaverpublication date Sat Nov 11, 2006 13:44author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Sorry been away… didn’t know there was an outstanding question. The answer is simply no. Indaver has never made a political donation to ANY party or politician. There appears to be a misconception that Government policy was changed or prepared to favour Indaver. For the record, Irish waste policy is based on EU policy. Indaver began operations in Ireland after the policy was set. For the record also, we agree with the policy of moving away from landfill and becoming self sufficient in managing our own hazardous waste. It makes sense.

Brid …have we met or have you decided I have no credibility without ever even talking to me. Do I not have any credibility in your mind because I have an opinion as to how we should manage our waste that is different to you….whatever happened to free speech.


author by Bridpublication date Thu Nov 09, 2006 02:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Your silence is deafening............why don't you answer the questions ?

Then again .................not much point as you have no credibility !

author by Endapublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 23:32author address author phone Report this post to the editors

A Chara John,

You seem to have your head stuck in a brown paper bag....speaking of which, for the record, could you please let us know if you personally, Indaver, or any related companies have made any donations to:

a. Our esteemed Taoiseach
b. Ex-Minister for the Environment No 1- Noel Dempsey
c. Ex-Minister for Environment no 2 - Martin Cullen
d. Current Minister for the Environment - Dick Roche
e. Anyone else in Fianna Fail I've not mentioned above
f. The Fianna Fail Political Party

In relation to these alledged payments, were any favours sought, as they were clearly given.

Is Mise le Meas,

The Plain People of Ireland

author by Lindapublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 13:30author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Dear Jayzhus!! - whoever you are, haven't stopped laughing yet.

Dear John - who are you trying to convince, yourself or us?

While it is admirable to defend your project, (particularly one that has so much potential profit and has so far incurred large costs that need to be recuperated) what you are saying is an entirely different version of events to the ones that I saw take place. It is simply not true that the site did not flood, large areas inside the site boundary did flood, and if you had walked down there, as I did, you would have seen that.

Furthermore, photographers went down there (pre-warned and in wader boots) and recorded the flooding, I have the disk here with ALL the photos.
- A film crew went down there about a week later, and areas were STILL flooded, though the entire site was at this stage accessible.
this footage can be prouced
- And an engineer went down and recorded water levels to compare them with your building levels, and again, these statistics can be retrieved

Whatever engineering magic you are going to use to remedy this situation, I would ask the following questions:

Can't you accept that the flooding, given recent climatic warnings, is likely to get worse, not better?
Why then, is it a good idea to invest so much money on this site?

author by mairepublication date Mon Nov 06, 2006 12:24author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello John,
The proposed investment of 100 million euros pales when you add up the 1,000 of millions invested by people in their homes - some of them first time buyers who still are unaware of the risks involved in living within a radius or downwind of a toxic incinerator.
You should not have to first convince yourselves of the site's suitability - the guidelines are already there - not near a stationary population, NOT ON A FLOODING SITE EVER, not in an area of thermal inversions, not beside an eroding coast line.

When you talk of the Transfer Station and normal practise in your industry for this type of facility, this is the first commercial toxic incinerator in this country, so there is nothing normal about this for the public.
The risks for the Maritime College come from the proximity to a Seveso 11 installation (Indaver)and fire hazards.(Hammond Lane) I presume you are aware of the APEX fire in North Carolina where l7, 000 had to evacutated because of toxic risks, and were not allowed back into their homes for some days. The Senior Inspector's findings were well founded.

Related Link: http://www.chaseireland.org
author by John Ahern - Indaver Irelandpublication date Sun Nov 05, 2006 20:33author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hi Maire,

The fact that the site might flood would be an obvious concern to any company. Remember we hope to invest €100 million in the development of the site. We would not make this investment if we thought it as all going to be washed away by floodwaters. We therefore had to be certain ourselves that it was a good site before we proposed to build on it. In other words, we had to first convince ourselves, before we tried to persuade anyone else of its suitability.

The design of the Transfer Station has to allow for the onsite storage of any firewater used on site during fire drills. Our licence does not allow us to release any water from our site before testing it, proving it is not contaminated. This is achieved by designing the site to “flood” with this water. This means we have to demonstrate that we can flood the site without releasing water into the Lee or any other watercourse. This is normal practise in our industry for this type of facility. For instance all drums of waste are stored on storage racks off the ground so that we can flood the site ourselves without impacting on the waste stored on site. In addition we can easily protect the site from off site water by raising the floor level, which is in the original design. We have a similar facility in Dublin Port and use these design features there.

You raise an interesting point about our proximity to the Maritime College. Presumably, as they are experts on the sea, they would not have located their college in a location that was going to be impacted by floods from the sea.

I take your point about not living there, while this is a personal point about where I live, it surely does not add to the technical debate about whether the site is technically suitable. But I take the point. Just for clarity I would have no problem living near an incinerator.

John Ahern

author by Mairepublication date Sat Nov 04, 2006 20:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Hello John,
This readers mind is not at rest to discover that you have to defend the flooding weakness of this site.
Before the flooding in 2004, you were made aware that this site was prone to flooding. Your vision of "engineering possibilities" to solve the site exclusionarey criteria of the World Health Organisation's guidelines, has a comparison to Harry Potter's "cloak of invisibility"
Can this cloak be used in (1) altering the area's propensity to thermal atmospheric inversions, (2) parting of the sea water from flooding of this site, (3) putting physical distance between the site and the static population of the national Maritem College and the re-opened prison in Spike. and last but not least the eroding coast line which boarders this site. The fact that the toxins stored in the transport station could leech into the river Lee if flooding becomes more frequent does not seem to worry you, why should it, you won't be living anywhere near it.

author by Miriam Cottonpublication date Tue Oct 31, 2006 10:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Mr Ahern

Your only interest in waste management is to make a profit out of it. You are therefore not an objective contributor to the waste issue and should never have played any part in determining government strategy for waste management.

Why not tell us all about the committees and quangos on which you and your colleagues sit - how the incinerator business really gets done? Stacked and biased EPA oral hearings are just the window dressing, arent they?

The incineration industry has been holding back proper waste management for decades - deliberately preventing genuinely environmentally friendly alternatives because of fears for their impact on the profitability of your business. But again, as with the pharmaceuticals, the petro chemical and gas industries, the psychotically foolish people who run this country have been falling over themselves to facilitate foreign corporate rapists like Indaver. Will you be hiring gardai to beat us up in Cork harbour if the digging starts there? What consolation will you have to offer the families affected by childhood cancers and all the other forms of sickness and ill health that you are so much looking forward to inflicting on us all? What compensation will there be for the farms and other livelihoods destroyed so that you can make a profit?

author by John Ahern - Indaver Irelandpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 21:59author address author phone Report this post to the editors


Didn't get your full name.

Nice to see you believe in OPEN Debate

John Ahern

author by jayzhuspublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 21:51author address author phone Report this post to the editors

did Indaver ireland truly think that we could give a fuck about their incinerator campaign?
its the old joke about the capitalist pissing in the pool-

We sell our gas to other countries. imprison our people.
send our re-cycling to Britain, because the glassworks in Ringsend is sold to the highest

The PPP places pro-incinerator focus groups comprised 0f the chamber of commerce,
profiteers and FF(ers) in place, the 'consultation' takes place, the fait accompli of anti
community planning is sold as something 'in the national interest'- the rich enrich
and we all live happily ever after- yes, John Ahern. stick it up your arse.

This government encourages conspicuous consumption, oil dependence,
and no viable alternatives to waste management. I am pretty sure the
tendering process was as corrupt as Thornton Hall, the Corrib field, the M3
and all the other personal enrichments that benefit big business-

and when you have poisoned our environments and broken our communities
the next generation who are not the elite little brats hot-housed and protected from
poverty by the private schooling system and the guaranteed company job-will thank you
for the mess they and their children will have to clean up.

btw: glad the incinerator site did not flood- just the fucking road......

author by John Ahern - Indaver Irelandpublication date Mon Oct 30, 2006 21:17author address author phone Report this post to the editors

The site where we hope to build the incinerator did not flood. The road leading to the site flooded and the site where we propose to build out transfer station did flood. The transfer station site flooded because a channel was dug from the road onto our site to presumable clean the road of water. This channel is easily seen in the photos on the chase website www.chaseireland.org .

The OPW website clearly states that

“However. Individual properties located in, or adjacent to, these area may not have flooded in the past or may not be at risk of future flooding due to local conditions e.g. elevated floor levels, individual flood protection measures or other such reasons”

The OPW site is therefore not saying that nothing should be built on the site and in this case merely records that there was localised flooding in 2004.

The site is easily defended from future flooding by simple engineering flood protection measures.

Hope this puts the minds of your readers at rest.

John Ahern, Managing Director, Indaver Ireland Limited

author by Maggiepublication date Sat Oct 21, 2006 16:43author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Want to see photos of the 2004 floods at the incinerator site in Ringaskiddy?
Check out the Photo Gallery on the CHASE website at:


author by dryapublication date Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:38author address author phone Report this post to the editors

Not very intellectual in his property accquistion now is he??????

Saying that there were the other properties-including the one in Kenmare
or was that Sneem......

btw: his house in Drumcondra is not a shade on Mc Dowell's in Ranelagh,
which sits cheek by jowl with the Luas line. Or the One Mc Dowell built
in Rooskey. Co Roscommon (second home-ya know)

author by Anonpublication date Fri Oct 20, 2006 12:20author address author phone Report this post to the editors

It might be a good idea for people to download as many maps as possible from the floodmaps.ie website before the government realize they allowed too much out in the open and decide to take it offline again. For all we know we might be told that certain maps for certain areas somehow got lost or erased.

author by Geripublication date Fri Oct 20, 2006 11:35author address author phone Report this post to the editors

No incinerator should be built in a flood plain - ever - anywhere! No matter what sort of examples of flood protection Indaver might be citing. Remember, major flooding happened after their site was selected, and doesn't particularly feature at all in their original submission.

Cork Harbour is a natural area which has been identified as at high risk from coastal erosion and the effects of climate change, increased flooding of which is one of these.

It's an almighty sign from above if ever there was one, and a shame on our EPA and Government if they don't heed it.

author by mairepublication date Tue Oct 17, 2006 16:06author address author phone Report this post to the editors

There is a very positive aspect in the OPW map website in that it informs the public of the risks to developments both domestic and industrial.

The Press release announcing the flooding risk assessment of Cork Harbour, was announced on the 11th of October 2005, yet the EPA went on to issue a licence to Indaver to build a hazardous incinerator, and a municipal incinerator,( which has still not gone for planning,) .on the 24th of November 2005, 5 weeks after this announcement, knowing that an assessment which could show that this site was subject to flooding would emerge, It should follow that Indaver could not be issued a licence because of the risks to this site. Can anyone say with conviction that An Bord Pleannala and the EPA environment policy are not industry driven.
.The former Project Manager of Indaver was appointed by Minister Cullen as a director to the EPA in between the Planning oral hearing and the licence application and hearing to the EPA . However no voice was raised by anyone in authority to say this was ethically wrong.
Ms. Jackie Kearney the now project manager has written about engineering out the problems of flooding, coastal erosion and thermal inversions to which this site is subject , surely supernatural powers. These engineering powers must be shared with the third world.

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