Saturday 25 May 2019

Waste fuel and chemicals pumped into public water system by IRA fuel launderers 'extremely toxic'

Fine Gael Louth Co Councillor John McGahon. Photo: Tom Conachy
Fine Gael Louth Co Councillor John McGahon. Photo: Tom Conachy

JIM CUSACK

Waste fuel and chemicals pumped into the public water system by IRA fuel launderers are "extremely toxic", the tests carried out by the Sunday Independent show.

The damning results were confirmed on Friday, just hours after Sinn Fein president and Louth TD, Gerry Adams, issued a statement rejecting scientific evidence that cancer-causing chemicals are being dumped into the water supply that serves 40,000 homes in the Dundalk area.

The sample, taken by the Sunday Independent two weeks ago, has been shown to contain 103.8 'toxic units'.

Regulations covering pollution discharge into the non-drinking water systems put limits as low as one toxic unit - and there should be none in discharge into the public water system.

On the ranking system for toxicity in water, anything over 100 units is technically termed "extremely toxic".

Last week, there was a public outcry over the poisoning of the Dundalk and south Armagh drinking water system, and Fine Gael Louth TD Fergus O'Dowd this weekend challenged Gerry Adams to drink the contaminated water. He said: "If we are to believe Adams, it will do him no harm!

"There can be no forgiveness North and South for this dangerous criminal activity that puts our health at risk," said O'Dowd, "and any denial of the health impact of carcinogenic pollution of this nature from any Dail member is disgraceful and shameful."

Despite a huge public outcry in the wake of our report last week, IRA fuel gangsters were still pumping waste directly into the Fane River water system that supplies some 60,000 people.

And in what Garda sources said is a "two fingers" salute to the public over the issue, the fuel launderers, who are raking in millions from the illicit trade, last week dumped 40,000 litres of the toxic poison waste in a trailer abandoned on the motorway outside Dundalk.

All the by-product waste from the process of 'washing' dye out of the commercial diesel, being carried out in dozens of plants across a triangle between Crossmaglen, Cullyhanna and Cullavile in south Armagh, is harmful to human and animal life and the environment.

Previous tests have shown the waste 'sludge' contains high amounts of polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (PAHs) that have been linked to increased incidences of cancer, prenatal and infant abnormalities and defects.

Last week, Fine Gael Louth County Councillor John McGahon branded the IRA gangs as "environmental terrorists" for what they are doing to the public and environment in the Northeast.

Cllr McGahon proposed a motion at last Monday's meeting of Louth Council condemning the IRA launderers. Ten members of Sinn Fein voted against his motion after their amendment removing the words 'the IRA' was voted down by a majority of Fine Gael, Fianna Fail, Green Party and Independents.

Councillor McGahon said he was "disgusted" at Sinn Fein's refusal to accept the reality that it is the IRA poisoning the water system and dumping tons of the toxic sludge around north Louth and Monaghan every year.

"As far as I am concerned, the people involved in fuel laundering are not low-life criminals, they are environmental terrorists."

He continued: "Only two days after Louth County Council passed my motion, 40,000 litres of sludge were dumped on the Dundalk to Newry road. The integrity of our water is at stake and this practice is threatening the public's water supply."

Sunday Independent

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