Fianna Fáil TD for Cavan-Monaghan Niamh Smyth has expressed concern that despite a Government initiative to tackle illegal dumping, rubbish is continuing to be left in public parks, beside lakes and on roadsides throughout Cavan and Monaghan.

In March, the Communications Minister launched the 2017 anti-dumping initiative, however a number of serious incidents have been reported to Deputy Smyth since then.

“I expressed my support for this initiative when it was launched a number of months ago, however I did warn that unless the necessary resources were allocated to implement it, the problem would continue to persist, and unfortunately that is exactly what is happening”, explained Deputy Smyth.

“Over the past number of weeks some 31 bags of rubbish were dumped beside the Town Lake in Bailieborough. Bags of rubbish and other household refuse were dumped beside a lovely scenic spot at Lough Sillan in Shercock. I have received phone calls about household furniture being dumped at Castletara and rubbish at Erica’s Forest in Cootehill.  Instead of seeing an improvement in the situation, I fear things are actually getting worse.

“I raised these issues with Minister Naughten in the Dáil this week, but unfortunately was not reassured by his response.  The Minister spoke of a €650,000 funding allocation for the anti-dumping initiative as well as €9m for local authority enforcement.  My greatest worry is that despite these allocations, the main problem in Cavan and Monaghan is the lack of manpower to enforce the legislation.  Cavan has only two full-time staff to cover the entire county and Monaghan County Council has one full-time staff member. This is nowhere near enough.

“Surveillance is key in clamping down on this issue and we need to increase the resources that are currently available to properly police illegal dumping across the two counties.  Initiatives and grand plans are all well and good, but we really need to see the resources allocated to the County Councils to ensure action on the ground”.