Tuesday 12 November 2019

Smugglers pour toxic sludge on to roadsides

Sludge left in the trailer dumped along the M1. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson
Sludge left in the trailer dumped along the M1. Photo: Ciara Wilkinson

Elaine Keogh

Smugglers are paying young men €100 cash to pour toxic sludge, the residue of diesel laundering, on to the side of cross border roads creating an environmental risk.

That's according to a councillor in Louth who was speaking after the county council confirmed that, so far this year, it has had to clean up after criminals who have dumped close to 100,000 litres of the toxic sludge.

Yesterday a trailer with 11 large cubes of waste on it was abandoned on the side of the M1 near the Louth border with Co Down.

It is the second time this year that an end-of-life trailer has been left in that layby.

Gardaí in the border area say the trade is controlled by the South Armagh Provisional IRA despite the official stance of both the Government and Garda Commissioner that the provisional IRA no longer exists.

So far this year there have been 19 separate dumping incidents in County Louth involving 106 plastic IBCs, which each hold 1,000 litres.

A Louth County Council spokesman confirmed the cost of correct disposal of the waste, so far in Louth, was about €75,000.

Louth councillor Declan Breathnach said: "I am told that this van has two cubes (of sludge) in it and there are two pipes at the side of it and it is driven around roads between Crossmaglen (Co Armagh) and Sheelagh (Co Louth) and as it drives the sludge is deposited onto the ditches for run-off water that are at the side of the road," he said.

He was also told that "young fellas are paid €100" to drive it.

The claims follow public concern expressed about the risk of diesel laundries polluting the drinking water to Dundalk.

Irish Independent

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