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Clean-up starts after huge scrapyard raid

AN illegal scrap-metal dump was being destroyed last night after a massive raid by five state agencies.

Gardai accompanied by officials from Customs and Excise, the Revenue Commissioners, the Department of Social Protection and a local authority were continuing their investigations at the five-acre halting site which was used to store waste on the outskirts of Limerick city.

The site was raided early yesterday morning and a major clean-up operation was continuing last night.

Along with vehicles used to transport waste, seven horses, more than a dozen dogs and a quantity of suspected green diesel were seized at the site.

A crane was in place throughout yesterday along with heavy machinery to dispose of tonnes of scrap from abandoned cars, boats and trucks.

Yesterday's operation is the culmination of a legal action which begun more than a decade ago by Limerick County Council.

About 30 people live at the site at Monaclinoe, Ballysimon, which has been occupied for more than three decades.

Last night, a spokesperson for Customs and Excise confirmed that its officers were working alongside Department of Social Protection officials to check if the operation was tax compliant and that state benefit was not being claimed.

The operation began at 7am and continued throughout the day. Trucks lined up outside the site to take the waste away. No arrests were made.

Limerick County Council said the site contained scrap trucks, cars and engine parts and the dismantling of these had caused considerable pollution in the area.

Irish Independent