Tuesday 20 February 2018

Provos' new 'dirty war' on 60,000 households

Shocking video show poisonous slurry seeping into border reservoir

JIM CUSACK

These images prove beyond doubt that Provo fuel launderers are feeding lethal toxic waste into the main drinking water reservoir for 60,000 people living on both sides of the border.

Four 1,000- litre cubes of deadly poison were dumped overnight last Tuesday into a drain that feeds directly into Lough Ross, which supplies all the drinking water to Dundalk in Co Louth and to the Provos' own heartland of Crossmaglen in south Armagh.

The launderers showed their complete contempt for human life by leaving the lids off two of the upturned containers, allowing the toxic sludge to flow into the drain at a point about just 100 metres from the shores of the reservoir.

The toxic waste contains polycyclic aromatic hyrdrocarbons (PAHs), which are particularly harmful to unborn babies as they are unable to process the poisons. Tests have linked the same poisons to foetal abnormalities and under-development in children.

In adults, the same neurotoxic poisons are linked to cancers and serious cognitive disorders.

Volunteer firemen from Co Monaghan had to don bio-hazard suits, of the same type used by medics dealing with the Ebola virus in Africa, because of the threat to their health from the sludge, the by-product of using sulphuric acid and other unknown chemicals to 'wash' the green or red dye out of agricultural and domestic heating oil.

Sunday Independent reporter Jim Cusack at the scene on the Monaghan/ Armagh border where diesel sludge was dumped into a stream which flows into Lough Ross. Photo: Tom Conachy
Sunday Independent reporter Jim Cusack at the scene on the Monaghan/ Armagh border where diesel sludge was dumped into a stream which flows into Lough Ross. Photo: Tom Conachy
Firemen in hazard suits are hosed down after removing toxic waste from diesel laundry sludged which was dumped into a stream which flows into Lough Ross on the Monaghan/Armagh border. The water from Lough Ross supplies Dundalk and area and Crossmaglen.

Last month, the Sunday Independent revealed how the deadly waste was already being pumped directly from one of the Provos' 'washing' plants into the same water supply.

Sinn Fein president Gerry Adams branded the reports as "unfounded" and accused the Sunday Independent of "whipping up hysteria". Local Sinn Fein councillor Tomas Sharkey also accused this newspaper of "crank journalism" in the wake of the report.

Mr Adams also denied the south Armagh IRA had any involvement in the activity.

However, senior Garda sources told the Sunday Independent that the IRA controls almost the entire trade in fuel laundering and smuggling.

One of the men suspected of involvement in the dumping of the waste last week was questioned about the IRA's murder of local man Paul Quinn in October 2007.

Our exclusive pictures show how local firemen and council workers are faced with an almost daily hazard of removing the toxic waste to a specially-built quarantine compound at the Scotch Corner municipal landfill site in Co Monaghan.

Since the start of the year, the Castleblayney fire brigade have been called to deal with 25 of the 1,000 litre, one-ton 'cubes' used to dump the waste mainly on road sides. In eight instances, the lids had been left off, allowing the waste to spill on to farmland and into streams.

Remarkably, on Tuesday, the firemen and council workers had to make a second call - after cleaning up the Lough Ross waste - to collect yet another container of the same toxic sludge. This second load had also been dropped overnight by the launderers on a roadside at Inniskeen - the birthplace of poet Patrick Kavanagh and one of the main local tourist attractions.

Firemen in hazzard suits are hosed down after removing toxic waste from diesel laundry sludged which was dumped into a stream which flows into Lough Ross on the Monaghan/Armagh border. Photo Tom Conachy
Firemen in hazzard suits are hosed down after removing toxic waste from diesel laundry sludged which was dumped into a stream which flows into Lough Ross on the Monaghan/Armagh border. Photo Tom Conachy

People living in the vicinity of the latest toxic waste dumping were disgusted at the action of the Provo fuel smugglers, who earn millions from the illegal trade.

However, no one was prepared to speak on or even off the record to the Sunday Independent amid fears for their own safety.

Gardai said entire areas of south Armagh, north Louth and Monaghan are in the grip of the Provisional IRA gangsters.

A Garda source told the Sunday Independent: "You won't get anyone to speak out against them (the IRA) here."

However, sources in south Armagh - speaking on strict conditions of anonymity - said that they believe both the Irish and British governments are turning a 'blind eye' to the lethal trade in fuel laundering.

One source told the Sunday Independent: "There's been stuff dumped there for years. It's the same all round here. People have complained but nothing happens. The council come out and look at it and do f*** all. It's running straight into the lough and that's the drinking water for Dundalk and Crossmaglen.

"The pumping station for the water to Cross [maglen] is just around the shore of the lough from that place. They're poisoning their own people."

"People here believe there's one big cover-up and the Provos were given some sort of a deal to allow them to do this. The Brits obviously felt it was better letting them poison the people (here) with the diesel sludge than be putting bombs in London."

On Tuesday, officials put a plastic boom across the clearly polluted stream that was feeding into the Lough Ross reservoir.

However, the boom was only stopping surface scum from moving and the rest of the polluted water was running directly into the lake.

The following day, more council workers arrived to carry out a further clear up of the scene of the dump.

Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency, Louth County Council and Monaghan County Council have still not published results from samples taken from one of the streams feeding into the Fane River and Lough Ross system last Monday week.

The EPA took the samples almost a month after the location was identified to them and the councils after the scandal was first exposed in the Sunday Independent last month.

Samples from the same stream taken by this newspaper revealed off-the-scale levels of toxicity. The private firm contracted to carry out the analysis for the Sunday Independent took two days to provide initial results, indicating high levels of pollution, and one week for final analysis showing 'extremely' high levels of toxicity in the water.

It was not clear when the EPA findings will be completed or if they will be made public.

The British-Irish Parliamentary Assembly, made up of TDs, senators, MPs and members of the House of Lords, are to discuss the IRA's illegal fuel laundering operations based south Armagh at their two-day bi-annual session taking place in the Senate Chamber in Leinster House tomorrow (Monday) and Tuesday.

Sunday Independent

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