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Sinn Féin highlight illegal dumping in Armagh

22 February, 2005

Sinn Féin have said that illegal dumping is continuing unabated in several parts of Crossmore, Armagh, and must stop immediately. Speaking after visiting Drumcarn, in Derrynoose, Newry/Armagh MLA Conor Murphy has said that over the last two weeks, Sinn Féin has highlighted the dumping of dead calves along the Clea Road, near Darkley and Keady. This has shocked local residents and also exposed a number of other dumping hotspots along the Armagh/Monaghan border.

When local councillor, Pat O'Rawe MLA and local representative, Willie Monaghan highlighted the issue, a number of local residents contacted our office in Armagh to alert us to other sites including Drumcarn bog in Derrynoose, an Area of Special Scientific Interest (ASSI).

Local Sinn Féin representative, Willie Monaghan, who initially visited the dumping sites, said:

"When I was brought to Drumcarn Bog by a concerned Derrynoose resident, I was shown what could only be described as an illegal dumping hotspot. There were at least eight dead calves, remains of decomposed sheep, drums of diesel residue, bags upon bags of household waste and all sorts of household appliances including fridges, washing machines and televisions. It is saddening to see a beautiful area abused in such a way. Speaking to local residents, it is very clear that they are angry at the amount of illegal dumping going on in border areas and especially in this Area of Special Scientific Interest, which was declared in 1998, that contains many rare species of plant and invertebrate, including the very rare Irish Damselfly."

Sinn Féin councillor for the area, MLA for Newry/Armagh Pat O'Rawe, who is Chairperson of the Armagh City and District Council Environment, Health and Recreation Committee, contacted the Environmental Officer immediately added, "I have been speaking to the Environmental Health Officer and welcome the approach the council has made in dealing with this awful situation. I am aware that the area was assessed straight away and that moves have been made to begin clearing up. I am also in contact with Environmental Heritage Service and they will assess the area to see how much damage has been done to this important habitat and how further damage can be prevented. We cannot make this any clearer; this illegal dumping may have already had a disastrous effect on the rare plants and vertebrates in Drumcarn.

Concluding, Conor Murphy said, "From we first highlighted the dumping of calves, the entire issue of illegal dumping in the area has been exposed and must be stopped. I pay tribute to the residents in Clea and Derrynoose who contacted us and I ask all residents, and farmers in particular, to continue to be vigilant against illegal dumps. Sinn Féin will work closely with residents, Armagh City and District Council and the Environmental Heritage Service to try and prevent continuance of this problem. We will also, through our Sinn Féin colleague in Co. Monaghan, Jackie Crowe, be in contact with Monaghan County Council as this issue requires a regional approach." ENDS

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