BUSINESSES and homeowners in Tralee have been driven to distraction for the past week following an infestation of flies in the town that has been linked to recent works at Kerry's main dump last week.
These claims have been denied by Kerry County Council who say that while large numbers of flies were accidentally released from the dump, the problem was confined to the local area and didn't spread as far as Tralee. According to the council any flies that were found in Tralee were likely the result of unseasonably warm weather.
Since last Wednesday Tralee has been inundated by millions of flies with infestations forcing some businesses to close and even leading to shortages of fly killer and other bug sprays across the entire town.
Local businesses are blaming the plague of flies on Kerry County Council and works the authority carried out last week at the Muingnaminnane landfill site some nine miles to the north east of Tralee.
Works at one of the pits in the landfill disturbed a huge number of flies and it's thought that prevailing winds then blew the swarm towards Tralee and Ballymacelligott with subsequent warm weather compounding the situation by increasing the flies breeding rate.
Swarms of flies began appearing in Tralee on Tuesday evening but the problem began to take on epic proportions on Wednesday when huge numbers of flies began appearing in homes and businesses in Tralee town and its surrounding areas.
While homes were badly hit the worst affected were bars, restaurants and other food businesses. At least three restaurants in Tralee Town Centre were actually forced to close their doors, dump food stocks and have their premises fumigated by pest controllers.