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Wednesday, 13th June 2018

Urgent action needed to tackle Drogheda’s illegal dumping

Front Page

What the ****? An exasperated looking Councillor Paul Bell with the oil drums that were dumped yesterday in the gateway of a field on the road between Platin and Donore. Photo: Jimmy Weldon.

"Council’s strategy to deal with illegal dumping is failing spectacularly" - Bell

At one point during Monday night’s Borough Council meeting the new Mayor Frank Godfrey said that Drogheda needs a facelift and expressed a hope that the people of the town would work together to make Drogheda a better place to live.

He’s right of course but, although there has been an upsurge in civic spirit in certain quarters in recent years, there is also a cohort of ignorant and uncaring people out there who don’t give a damn about how our streets and our countryside are impaired when they spread their filth.

There has been much talk and wringing of hands over the issue both at local and official level but the time must surely have come for decisive action to eradicate this behaviour. It is patently obvious that whatever the Council and the Gardaí are doing to combat the problem it’s not working.

They would more than likely say that they don’t have the resources to combat such a widespread and growing problem but that is not good enough. Our representatives in Dail Éireann must make it a priority to get them the resources they need to tackle what is a fundamental problem in our society.

People must be arrested, charged and punished for this disgusting anti-social behaviour, but first they must be caught. Getting the CCTV system in the town working and linked to the Garda station would be a good start.

Councillor Paul Bell claimed today that Louth County Council’s strategy in dealing with the growing level of illegal dumping is failing in a spectacular fashion.

He was speaking after he came across barrels of oil or chemical dumped in the gateway to a field yesterday on the Louth/Meath border on the link road between Donore Road and Platin Road.

“It is truly shocking that, in close proximity to the Drogheda Retail Park and along a busy road, barrels of chemical could be dumped in broad daylight without attracting the concern of passers-by” he said.

“From speaking to local people I have identified that possibly two vans were used in the dumping of a product which requires specialist processes for its safe disposal. Unfortunately though, local people who witnessed the vans parked in the gateway did not understand that criminal activity was ongoing.”

Bell contacted Louth County Council but it seems the barrels were dumped just over the County boundary so it falls to Meath County Council to clear up this particular mess.

He says that the problem is so serious, with perpetrators acting with impunity even in areas of the town centre, that he has called for a special meeting of Councillors and Council Officials to come up with a new approach to this growing crisis.

Bell says that the fine of €150.00 is not effective and that the cost of disposing of the waste should be passed on to those found guilty of illegal dumping.

This article was written by Andy Spearman

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