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Council confirms Broadmeadow Estuary ‘clean-up’ this summer.


Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG)

Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG)

Cllr Anthony Lavin (FG)


Fingal County Council has commenced a procurement process to engage a suitably qualified contractor to carry out a ‘clean-up’ of Broadmeadow Estuary in 2022.

The council’s announcement follows claims from a Fine Gael Howth/Malahide LEA councillor that rubbish is being “dumped” over the M1 motorway bridge crossing the estuary, a Special Area of Conservation (SAC) between Swords and Malahide.

Speaking at a recent meeting of the full council, Cllr Anthony Lavin said his motion, requesting a ‘clean-up’ of Broadmeadow Estuary, had been “sitting there for quite a while”, having been brought to the council in April 2021.

Cllr Lavin said that a number of similar requests had been made previously, but that he had been told at one stage the matter did not fall under the jurisdiction of the Local Area Committee, and so was not pursued at that time.

Cllr Lavin told the council that while he accepted a significant amount of rubbish and debris appeared to be flowing “downstream” on the estuary, it was his belief that there were incidents of illegal dumping over the M1 motorway bridge, which he and Swords volunteers were regularly cleaning up.

The Fine Gael councillor said he would welcome a discussion on how to deter members of the public from engaging in this practice.

Noting this was a “very sensitive area”, Cllr Lavin suggested the installation of CCTV in the vicinity, as well as the possibility of introducing “wiring or netting” at the M1 motorway bridge to prevent dumping.

Cllr Lavin said that he was “heartened” by a response issued by the local authority, which confirmed a suitably qualified contractor is to be engaged to clean up Broadmeadow Estuary during summer 2022, and in subsequent years.

However, Cllr Lavin said that while he was pleased with the council’s response, he was “disappointed” the local authority had not addressed the matter earlier.

Responding to Cllr Lavin, a council official acknowledged the councillor’s motion had been “there quite a while.”

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This, the official claimed, was due to the fact that it is a “very complicated tender process”, in a “very challenging location.”

The official said that while there appeared to be “no evidence” of illegal dumping over the M1 motorway bridge, she would be “disappointed” if members of the public were engaging in the practice, and said this could be investigated further.

The official assured Cllr Lavin that Fingal County Council will keep him informed as to the progress of this year’s clean-up of Broadmeadow Estuary, which commences this summer.

A report issued by the council confirmed an initial assessment of Broadmeadow Estuary on the West side of the M1 motorway bridge has been carried out, noting “any works of this nature will have to be cognisant of the sensitivity of the location within the SAC.”

A small number of large items of debris were noted, which were listed for removal “as soon as possible.”

There were also “significant health and safety challenges” in carrying out works in this area, which have to be factored into the process, the report concluded.