Clean-up work to begin on controversial illegal dump in Cork
Ballyvolane residents seek European environmental investigation of Irish authorities
Luke “Ming” Flanagan: “While the council has occasionally made efforts to address this problem, most recently five years ago, they have failed utterly in their duties and responsibilities to the public, as have the Environmental Protection Agency”
A major clean-up is to begin within days at a controversial and long-standing illegal dump in Cork city after a contractor was appointed.
It comes after local residents asked the European Commission to investigate whether Irish authorities are in breach of European Union regulations in allowing the dump to continue to operate.
Noreen Murphy from Ballyvolane said residents have asked Midlands-North-West MEP Luke “Ming” Flanagan to table a question in the European Parliament on the illegal dump and the threat it poses to human health.
“We have asked Luke 'Ming' Flanagan to ask the European Commission to investigate whether the Irish authorities, local and national, are in breach of either EU environment legislation or EU public safety legislation by failing to clean up the illegal dump at Ellis’s Yard,” said Ms Murphy.
Mr Flanagan, in his question to the European Parliament for written reply, pointed out the dump has been in operation for more than two decades, but that it had grown in the past year as more people were using it to fly-tip their rubbish.
“This dump contains general household rubbish, furniture, fridges and industrial waste resulting in a plague of vermin, foul smells and fires – last year alone Cork City fire service attended fires there on 90 occasions. It’s just metres away from a creche, a football pitch, and 100m from streets and homes.
“While the council has occasionally made efforts to address this problem, most recently five years ago, they have failed utterly in their duties and responsibilities to the public, as have the Environmental Protection Agency, ” said Mr Flanagan in his question.
Ms Murphy said local residents were anxious to find out if the European Commission could take an infringement case against Cork City Council given that local residents were still having to deal with fumes from the fires being lit at the illegal dump.
The dump is adjacent to the Spring Lane halting site, and Breda O’Donoghue of Cork Traveller Visibility Group told Cork’s 96FM they have been lodging complaints about the dump for more than 30 years but with little success.
Cork City Council issued a statement in the wake of a protest by residents in January, saying it understood the frustrations of residents and pledged to shortly begin a clean-up.
Meanwhile, the EPA said it was aware of issues regarding the site, and understood from the council that monies have been received, and that clean-up work, including the provision of secure fencing, was due to commence shortly.