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Monday 5 December 2016

IRA diesel smugglers poison the land by torching toxic sludge

Jim Cusack Exclusive

Published 25/10/2015 | 02:30

sludge near the Quinn house
sludge near the Quinn house

IRA fuel smugglers have been burning toxic chemical waste along the Border, poisoning the environment and puttinlocal people's health at risk.

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The cancer and birth defect-causing chemicals were burning all last week in the Provo heartland of south Armagh just two miles from the Border - as Sinn Fein continued its denials that the IRA is involved in crime.

And the parents of IRA murder victim Paul Quinn, who live only a few hundred yards from the burning toxic waste, said the "same people" who murdered their son were responsible for the lucrative but environmentally disastrous dumping and burning of the chemical waste.

"It's the very same people that murdered our Paul," Breege Quinn told the Sunday Independent. "The same people who put that there on the road, they're the same ones. They're at it day in, day out. They don't care about the people."

The burning waste was spotted by Stephen Quinn as he was driving from his home last Tuesday morning to the shops in Crossmaglen.

"There was three cubes on the road and they were pushed off into the ditch and set on fire. They must have been dumped there on Monday night. It has been burning there since Tuesday," he said.

"You can be damn sure it's the same people. It's the Provos doing this and everyone knows it but they're too afraid to speak out. These b******s are poisoning the people and no one's doing a thing about it."

The gang that beat Paul Quinn (21) to death in October 2007, and then forensically cleaned the shed where the murder took place, are all involved in the fuel trade, gardai say. All are well known throughout the Armagh-Louth-Monaghan area and a number, the Quinns say, are active in Sinn Fein.

Mr Quinn said Sinn Fein was "lying all the time" about the IRA criminality in the Border area as well as about the murder of his son.

"They know full well who murdered Paul. It was their own. They are protecting murderers. If you ask me, they are all scum."

The three one-tonne cubes of the chemical waste - which contains chemicals causing birth defects and cancers - were still smouldering yesterday. An estimated 4,000 tonnes of chemical waste has been dumped in the Border areas of Louth and Monaghan in the past three years.

The fuel smugglers are making 25c on every litre of agricultural or home heating oil they 'clean' of its green dye before selling mainly to the haulage industry. They use acids and other chemicals to extract the dye and then dump these chemicals with the diesel residue anywhere in the Border area for the local authorities to clean up.

The industry thrives as the IRA has been allowed to operate free of police or customs interference in what Fianna Fail leader Micheal Martin termed the 'Twilight Zone' of the Border area. Figures released last year by the Department of Environment point to nearly a thousand cases of the toxic waste dumping, usually of between four and six of the one-tonne 'cubes'.

Some 490 dumpings took place in Louth and 406 in Monaghan. Between them the two councils have spent €9m cleaning the waste and transporting it to Holland for processing.

Despite detectives 'closing' 43 oil laundry plants in Louth and Monaghan since 2010 the industry is still flourishing - even after Revenue introduced a new isotope marker which can't be removed from diesel.

The Irish Petroleum Industry Association has estimated that there may be as many as 120 illegal sites in operation in the Republic and that these are costing the Exchequer as much as €155m per annum in lost fuel duty.

One of the men questioned by gardai about the Paul Quinn murder was recently arrested in connection with IRA cigarette-smuggling in the Border area. The suspect is also a well-known Sinn Fein activist.

Sunday Independent

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