Friday 19 July 2019

Bags of bones found discarded in Enniscorthy a week before Ferns discovery

One of the bags containing bones
One of the bags containing bones

While Co Wexford is still in shock following last week's discovery of human skeletal remains at Ballyandrew, Ferns, an Enniscorthy man has expressed major reservations over the handling of two bags of bones that he found near his home at Ballinabarney, Enniscorthy.

Jay Gilbert had found two Wicklow County Council bags containing bones and carcass at Whiteshill in the Clonhaston area, approximately a week before the grim discovery in Ferns and he says that the manner in which it was dealt with by local gardaí 'doesn't sit right' with him.

Mr Gilbert outlined that dumping in the area had reached epidemic proportions and he and his parents along with other members of the community regularly head out and pick litter in a bid to try and stem the flow. On one such occasion recently, he explained, he came across the two bags, along with two dead dogs that were also dumped, and was shocked when he took a look inside one and saw bones.

'I reported it to gardaí immediately,' he said. 'I wanted someone to come down and identify what they were and make a call on it. I didn't feel comfortable making a call on whether they belonged to animals or what they were.'

'I thought they looked like spines,' he continued. 'There was an awful stink from the bags as well. There were bits of carcass in there too. I didn't feel comfortable making the call on it. When the gardaí did come out, the garda just fingered one of the bags and didn't open the other one. He said it was animal, but to be honest I wasn't happy with the way it was handled. It doesn't sit well with me. Even if it was an animal carcass, surely it should be investigated anyway?'

Instead, Mr Gilbert said that the garda left the bags where they were, vowing to contact the council and make their disposal a priority. This, however, he says took four to five days and follow-up phone calls.

Following the shocking discovery which followed in Ferns, Mr Gilbert says he was left with an eerie feeling about the whole thing and it really brought home to him that, with the amount of dumping going on in rural areas, we really don't know what's lying out there waiting to be discovered.

'Things have gotten so bad out in our area,' he said. 'There are so many bags being dumped here and a lot of them have been left there for a long time. The council aren't as vigilant as they say they are and people know that if something is dumped in one of these ditches, it could be a long, long time before they are discovered.'

Enniscorthy Guardian