Farm Ireland
Independent.ie

Wednesday 15 August 2018

'Grossly unfair': Farmers legally have to clean up rubbish illegally dumped on their farms

The scene at a forest in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow which has been repeatedly used as a dumping ground by fly-tippers.
The scene at a forest in Kiltegan, Co Wicklow which has been repeatedly used as a dumping ground by fly-tippers.
Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD
Claire Fox

Claire Fox

The "legal burden" placed on farmers to deal with rubbish illegally dumped on their farms needs to be addressed within the new illegal dumping plan, farm organisations have urged.

Environment Minister Denis Naughten and Rural and Community Development Minister Michael Ring launched the €2m plan in an effort to tackle "economic and environmental treason" of illegal dumping in the countryside. Aerial imagery from drones and satellites as well as the installation of CCTV cameras and better enforcement and prosecution actions are central to the plan.

While farm organisations welcomed the blueprint, ICMSA's farm and rural affairs committee chair Denis Drennan said that the "legal burden" placed on farmers due to rubbish illegally dumped on their land needs to be removed.

He called for a more "stringent attitude" to ensure illegal dumpers pay their fines.

William Grogan cleaning some of the rubbish dumped on his farm in Co Wicklow.
William Grogan cleaning some of the rubbish dumped on his farm in Co Wicklow.

"The legal burden on farmers to deal with rubbish dumped illegally on their lands is grossly unfair.

Drones

Blight: an isolated upland area in Co Wicklow targeted by dumping gangs
Blight: an isolated upland area in Co Wicklow targeted by dumping gangs

"We have a situation that has people convicted of illegally dumping and having very significant fines levied on them, but not paying those fines and instead serve a few days or a week in prison with the fines then written-off,"he said.

He also questioned the use of drones which he claimed are used by criminals who are illegally dumping rubbish to identify and map potential targets.

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IFA's Thomas Cooney also called for the removal of the legal threat on farmers who have rubbish dumped on their land and for a review of anti-litter legislation.

"County Councils need to liaise with the public to highlight the problem of illegal dumping in rural areas and accompany it with a national media campaign," he said.

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