An Irish-American filmmaker seeks to produce the documentary “A Price Worth Paying,” which details the Irish government’s corruption in handling a refinery’s hazardous effects on the farming community of one Limerick family.
Mary Catherine Brouder, a protégée of controversial director Michael Moore, documents health claims made by Pat and Nuala Geoghegan, of Askeaton, that the Russian-backed, Aughinish Alumina, poisoned them.
The family alleges that the refinery, which produces a toxic salt cake due to the extraction of alumina from bauxite ore, has allowed a particulate to infiltrate its community’s air and water supply, thereby contaminating the families and livestock who live off the land.
Respiratory problems, abdominal pains, uncontrollable fatigue, miscarriages, and neurological conditions—not to mention the unexplained deaths of numerous dairy cattle—have prompted a closer look into Europe’s largest aluminum smelting plant, which arrived in Ireland in 1983, at a time when the Environmental Protection Agency did not exist.
"Human beings should not be treated the way the Geoghegan family were treated by Aughinish Alumina, nor by the Irish government and the only way to put a stop to this kind of behavior is to share this story with the world," says Brouder.
In early 2019, the Irish government advocated on behalf of Aughinish Alumina to several high-ranking members of the United States government. They did so in an attempt to lift the sanctions imposed on refinery owner Oleg Deripaska, due to his alleged relationship with U.S. President Donald Trump.
Brouder claims to have evidence that the Irish government not only concealed scientific studies but attempted to silence the Geoghegan family, whose health it considers a “price worth paying for economic growth.”
Brouder, who has lived in New York and Dublin, has launched a Kickstarter campaign in an effort to finance the film.
Brouder has worked on documentaries for TV3, PBS, HBO, CBS, IFC, A&E and Vice.
Her first independent film, “A Mighty Man: The Gerry Roche Story,” details the murder of a Limerick priest in Kenya.