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RUBBISH!

By ATWadmin On January 17th, 2007

I note that a major environmental clean-up is under way in south Armagh where the contents of an illegal landfill site are being sent back across the border. A fleet of lorries has carried hundreds of tonnes of household waste including old nappies and decaying food back to the Irish Republic. The tonnes of illegal waste netted the rubbish racketeers thousands of pounds. It is the first time illegal waste has been repatriated. About time too. I think it is outrageous that waste from a foreign country should be dumped illegally in Northern Ireland, though I also suspect that the only way to stop this would be to increase security along the border and – ahem – that might pose a few problems for some people. Good riddance to unwelcome rubbish, say I!

35 Responses to “RUBBISH!”

  1. Couldn’t agree more.

    These illegal operators should be fined to the hilt by both the ROI and NI authorities and jail terms applied.

  2. David,

    You normally write in a coherent and interesting manner. I thought however that this article was a…..load of….rubbish.

  3. I noted from the BBC report that officials from the Irish Environment dept help oversea the repatriation. The is cross border cooperation to crack down on these illegal operators.

  4. I hope Dermot Ahern will be issuing an apology to Northern Ireland over this.

  5. Rumours have it that the Irish state took the opportunity to repatriate Brian Kennedy at the same time…. 🙂

  6. Of course there is no mention of arrests or charges. Wouldn’t want to upset "the lads" would we?

  7. >>I hope Dermot Ahern will be issuing an apology to Northern Ireland over this.<<

    Why would he. The operators are illegal. That would be like dermot apologising for car drivers from the ROI, speeding in NI.

    This is an Island wide problem, and is not as such a ROI v NI issue. These illegal operators dont care where they dump.

  8. Now that precedent has been established when does Ruane get thrown back over the border ? 😉

  9. >>Now that precedent has been established when does Ruane get thrown back over the border ? ;)<<

    Im making lists now 🙂

    Seriously though. These illegal dumpers are scum. They are ruining the countryside with their operations. The problem is that people who are refusing to pay their bin charges are using these people.

    In the ROI, they go through the rubbish, find identifying articles and prosecute these individuals. If you can account for your rubbish, then you pay

  10. Kloot,
    The RoI authorities turned a blind eye to this for a long time.
    Common courtesy should see Ahern apologise.

  11. ILUVNI – I hate to think what concessions were extracted to ensure Garda co-operation.

  12. ILuvNI, Madradrin

    Ye are both paranoid. First off, this is NOT first a garda issue in the ROI, its first an issue for the environment dept, who then have to find enough evidence to bring the Gardai in. Its very hard to convict in these cases. People in NI seem to forget the numbers of Gardai killed by the IRA, I just cant understand why you think they would be letting these things slip.

    How do you account for the numbers of illegal fuel dumps raided by the Gardai every year.

    There is nothing stopping someone driving around in a truck full of rubbish. That aspect is Not illegal. Its the dumping thats illegal, and the dumping was taking place in NI, so it was the NI officials who were turning the blind eye by your logic. We dont even know which side of the border these people are working from.

    The fact is that the NI and ROI authorities have both recognised the problem and have started working together to cooperate in ensuring prosecutions. This will require evidence from the illegal dumps in NI, being passed on to Irish authorities for prosecution.

    If anyone turned a blind eye to this its was environment agencies on either side of the border.

    Turning this into some sort of political football between NI and the ROI is just pointless.

    Bring it back to the point at hand. Illegal dumping, and its solution.

  13. Oh come on Kloot, let’s get real.

    p.s I’m not sure this is correct:

    <Q>There is nothing stopping someone driving around in a truck full of rubbish. That aspect is Not illegal. </Q>

    When the waste is classified as a biohazard, there are AFAIK regulations.

  14. What about automatic jail for the landowner if they are found to be in on it, which must be 99% of the time.

  15. >>When the waste is classified as a biohazard, there are AFAIK regulations.<<

    Thats probably right Mad, but its not like you could tell this from looking at the truck. You would have to inspect it. And there are no inspection points for things like this along the border.

    >>Oh come on Kloot, let’s get real.<<

    I presume this is the Gardai point. Look, that conversation could and probably would spiral into the usual flame debate…

    So ill keep it to the issue to hand. Did the Irish and NI authorities know this was happening… yes, this has been reported for years in the media. Have they tried to stop it, again yes, but they are not helped by inept local county councils. So, what has been the end result of this, that both authorities have cooperated to clean up the sites involved. Fairs fair.
    And im sure they will equally cooperate in prosecutions.

  16. <Q>Thats probably right Mad, but its not like you could tell this from looking at the truck. You would have to inspect it. And there are no inspection points for things like this along the border.</Q>

    which is exactly how this COULD and SHOULD have been stamped on on your side of the Border Kloot. That’s my point. Preventing crime is after all one of the functions of the G.S. Garda patrols stopping and taking driver details, checking the Lorry thoroughly in respect of roadworthiness etc etc.

    it wasn’t rocket science.

  17. I wonder who owns the land in question.

  18. >>which is exactly how this COULD and SHOULD have been stamped on on your side of the Border Kloot. That’s my point. Preventing crime is after all one of the functions of the G.S. Garda patrols stopping and taking driver details, checking the Lorry thoroughly in respect of roadworthiness etc etc.<<

    My understanding is that these checks do take place, hence people being caught for using farm diesel or for shipping illegal fuel… the problem, as you know from following the media in the ROI, is the lack of resources. The Gardai are heavily undermanned. The people doing the dumping have any number of routes into NI to pick from, and there isnt enough Gardai to perform these checks, im sure there isnt the numbers on the other side of the border either. In that respect the ROI is culpable.

  19. Kloot – yes, levels of inspection have been stepped up – this is the sort of blackmail – as with anti-terrorism measures – that your government has used against the UK.

    But after all during the troubles the border areas SHOULD in ALL our interests have been tightly policed and as you keep reminding us, it’s not as if the ROI has been impoverished since the 1990s.

    I mean – 2 AM and a large Lorry is in the middle of nowhere on a back road. Who’s to say it doesn’t have illegal waste, a bomb, livestock being smuggled, drugs shipment, arms ?

    But it was that failure to do the right thing that has in part made people of my community hostile to your country. We shouldn’t have had to BUY your support.

  20. >>Kloot – yes, levels of inspection have been stepped up – this is the sort of blackmail – as with anti-terrorism measures – that your government has used against the UK.<<

    Madradin, while I will agree that there were political aspects to this, the simple fact as well was that we, as in the ROI, was BROKE. No joke, but the money wasnt there. If you read some of the material released each year under the 30 yr rule you can read about ministers and departments arguing over the payment of the smallest amounts of money. The government had the Army patrolling the border along with the Gardai. We had every van transferring money being guarded by the Army as well. That was and does cost a fortune. The IMF was close to coming in an shutting down the Irish economy as late as the late 80s. Thats how bad things were.

    >>But after all during the troubles the border areas SHOULD in ALL our interests have been tightly policed and as you keep reminding us, it’s not as if the ROI has been impoverished since the 1990s.<<

    I agree completely. My point above addresses the period of the troubles, with regards to the 90s onward. Thats the fault of the government in power. They have not delivered the investment promised. 15 years of boom and we still have a dodgy health system, we still are under resourced in education and security. This is not something purposely directed at NI, it is a side effect of the lack of investment. NI was lucky in the sense that the bill was footed by the UK government who could afford it.

    >>I mean – 2 AM and a large Lorry is in the middle of nowhere on a back road. Who’s to say it doesn’t have illegal waste, a bomb, livestock being smuggled, drugs shipment, arms ?<<

    This works both ways though does it not. These illegal activities were going on both sides of the border. Where were the RUC/PSNI checks on all those back roads. I think its just a reality that int he same way that you cannot have checks on every dodgy back road for drink divers, you cant do the same for other illegal activities. Its just too expensive.

    >>But it was that failure to do the right thing that has in part made people of my community hostile to your country. We shouldn’t have had to BUY your support.<<

    I understand that Madradin. And I can fully see your point. Im not sure what the "Buy" part refers to though.

  21. Kloot – the point is that one of the concessions that had to be made to your Government and SF/IRA was the neutering of Policing along the borders.

    Come on – can you imagine the screams from the Shinners – who WOULD have been supported by your Government let’s not forget – if the watchtowers had been kept and the policing patrol levels maintained ?

    I meant "Buy" as in concessions granted in order to get to the half-hearted support we have at present.

    I don’t accept the Poverty line from the late 60s on – after all there was money to fund "refugee camps", money to ship arms, money to move the army along the borders ( but not to use them to stop the terrorists, just to threaten NI ) and after all – according to the ROI at that time when people in NI were being murdered they were – according to your own Government – Irish people. More could and should have been done.

  22. The argument about the Irish citizenry of all in NI is a good one.

  23. Madradin,

    Ill have to keep this brief as ive a bucket load of work to get back to. We could go on all day as you know trading comments on this issue and reach no conclusion.

    All I can say is that if NI and the ROI had of had normalised relations like most bordering states do, then the likelihood would have been that things could have been alot different. The reality I believe, was that in effect there was a cold war in existence between the ROI and NI from boths inception, one which is only in the last 10 years beginning to thaw.

    Politicians in the ROI refused to accept the existence of NI and tried to negotiate above its politicians heads for its abolition.

    For their part NI politicians refused to engage with the ROI, for various reasons, the constitutional claim over NI, the fact that they would have been dealing with politicians directly involved with the independence movement, and other reasons.

    There was no trust between either side. There was no familiarity between either side. Very little official communication and practically no cross border cooperation.

    Those were not conditions suited trying to solve those problems of the time.

    Im NOT saying this is an excuse. Im saying it was a mitigating factor.

    Anyway ive got to run. I might not get around to responding to this aspect of the thread again, as it takes quiet alot of time to respond as you know.

  24. Thanks for a good discussion Kloot – siesta time here – a smoke first and then some Zs

  25. >>>Thanks for a good discussion Kloot<<

    Always engaging Madradin. Till the next time.

  26. Ahem…

    (QUOTE)
    Text of Letter to UK Minister of the Environment

    The Environment Minister,
    Rt.Hon. M. Meacher MP,
    Department of the Environment,
    2 Marsham Street,
    London SW1P 3EB.
    Dear Minister,

    Recent research indicates that plutonium from Sellafield is now being found in the teeth of children (see attached). The contamination levels are higher in children who live close to the plant but are also significant in samples taken up to 225 km from the facility.

    Last month the Manx authorities identified another, new, aspect of pollution caused by the plant when they identified (and I quote from their release).

    "Local seafood contained a low level of radioactivity associated with discharges of effluent from Sellafield. Recent changes in BNFLs reprocessing operations have altered the composition of this effluent, increasing the quantity of moderately toxic isotope Technetium-99, which is known to accumulate in shellfish, particularly lobsters. Future monitoring will be extended to investigate the predicted increase in technetium levels in the Irish sea."

    It is therefore quite clear that the pollution from the plant is:

    1) Continuing 2) Extensive 3) Contaminating both the Land Air and Marine Environment 4) Entering the food chain and contaminating humans and animals.

    The plant does therefore, despite the slick PR which the operator extends, pose a considerable threat to health of large numbers of people around the N. Irish Sea.

    etc, etc, (END QUOTE)

    Kinda makes the dumping in Armagh seem like a storm in a teacup, no? Anyone here with children living on the seaboard of the northern Irish Sea?

  27. Whataboutery ZZZZZZZZzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  28. You don’t live by the sea then, Madradin? And to hell with those who do eh?

  29. Madradin and Iluvni,

    Northern Ireland doesn’t even have an independent Environmental Protection Agency – the only part of the UK not to have one.

    Get your own house in order. The Republic is way ahead of you on this.

    Why do you think the rubbish is being dumped north of the border and not south of it?

    Why do you think there were environmental officials from south of the border overseeing the operation and none from north of it?

    Because south of the border there is a structure in place tackling this issue.

    You guys should really kop on and realise what is actually happening on the ground.

  30. … or in the ground for that matter :0)

  31. If things are SO well run South of the Border how come this waste is able to reach the Border ?
    Hmmmmmmmmm ?

    <Q>Why do you think the rubbish is being dumped north of the border and not south of it?</Q>

    An EASY one – Organised Crime and Shinner criminality is allowed to run rampant in places like South Armagh because of the damage to the policing and civil infrastructure – in part caused by the games played by successive governments of the ROI.

    Would the ROI scream blue bloody murder if our Government announced that, because of the illegal activities such as smuggling, fuel laundering and illegal dumping, it was massively stepping up policing of areas like South Armagh including increasing surveillance, closing minor border roads, building more watch towers and quadrupling police patrolling ?

    Yes or No Garfield ?

  32. Soldiers and police don’t deal with illegal dumping an independent EPA does Madradin.

    Northern Ireland is failing in this regard. It needs an EPA. You can’t send in the army for everything you know.

    Not in a democracy at any rate.

  33. That you run from my questions provides my answers Garfield.

  34. Madradin,
    I’m not running from your questions, it’s just they aren’t relevant to the problem of how to solve the problem of illegal dumping.

    That is what we are talking about here, you know.

    "If things are SO well run South of the Border how come this waste is able to reach the Border ?"

    Because things are run well south of the border, it is easier to dump illegal waste north of it.

    It’s a bit like asking if drink control laws in California are so good how come 18 year olds are able to cross the border to Mexico and get pissed on cheap alcohol?

    Hmmmmmmmmm?

  35. No, it’s not – The waste comes from places . If Your EPA was doing it’s Job properly hundreds of tons of ROI waste wouldn’t just "Vanish" …. just as if your police did their jobs properly it would be found in the process of being moved TO the Border…. DOH!

    And OF COURSE my questions are appropriate – to stop illegal cross border vehicular movement is the Job of the police – Imagine the Screams from the Provos which WOULD be backed by YOUR government if the border was sealed off effectively, if policing was ramped up in areas like South Armagh and proper surveillance occurred to put cross border crooks out of business.

    And if you had any clue about anything you would realise that an EPA officer who tried poking about in South Armagh would likely require hospitalisation – if he was ever found.

    You are a waste of bandwidth Garfie.