Council misplaced file on illegal dumping

 

A file dating back to 1998 and detailing the registration numbers and frequency of lorries dumping illegally in west Wicklow has been misplaced by Wicklow County Council.

The file contains a record compiled by the Bailey family who live near the Whitestown dump near Baltinglass, the largest illegal dump yet to come to the council's attention and said to contain up to 300,000 tonnes of hospital waste.

According to Ms Emer Bailey, the family wrote to the council in 1998 detailing the illegal dumping operation at Whitestown and expressing concerns for the local environment. The letter included details of the number of lorries, hours of operation, the mechanical machinery on site, and registration numbers of some of the lorries involved.

However Ms Bailey told The Irish Times that at a recent meeting with Wicklow County Council personnel, she was informed the file containing her letter was missing.

Ms Bailey said she was told the file had been seen by senior staff, and although it was missing, staff were confident it would turn up. Attempts to contact a spokesman for the local authority yesterday were unsuccessful.

Green Party councillor Ms Deirdre de Burca, who was responsible for arranging the meeting between the council and the Bailey family, said she was shocked when told the file was missing. "This information would have made it possible to begin identifying who was responsible for the illegal dumping at the site," she said. The information would have been useful to gardaí in their investigation, she added.