FG chair lashes judges and ministers

Lynda Kiernan

Lynda Kiernan

The Cathaoirleach of Laois County Council James Deegan has lashed out at judges and the Minister for the Environment over their handling of illegal dumping.

Cllr Deegan’s ire was raised over the recent dismissal of a case of dumping, which he briefly explained to Mountmellick town councillors at last Monday’s electoral area meeting.

“A summons was issued, it was brought straight to court. The Justice dismissed the case because it wasn’t deemed littering. The judiciary need to get real,” said Cllr Deegan who was chairing the meeting.

The Fine Gael councillor also challenged his own Minister to tackle litter.

“Fines need to be brought into line. We should put down a motion to request the Minister of the Environment. The previous one (Minister John Gormley) totally buried his head in the sand. The new one (Phil Hogan) should come into the real world,” he said.

He was speaking after a request by Cllr Paddy Bracken for Laois County Council to clean up the Bay Road was turned down due to lack of funds. Cllr Deegan agreed with Cllr Pat Bowe that all who are caught should be named and shamed, rather than the present system where a spot fine of E127 is paid by dumpers who then keep their anonimity.

The Bay Road Mountmellick area has suffered from years of dumping, noted newly elected Cathaoirleach of Mountmellick Town Council Stephen Lynch.

“It’s 1997 since the Gun Club won their award. We got 13 trailerloads of rubbish then,” he said.

Laois County Council’s reply was that a big clean-up was done last year to great expense, they have recently erected CCTV and no dumping signs, but have no funding for a further clean-up.

“We need to deter rather than hand money out to clean up. People should be reporting people that have no business going up that road. It’s anti-social behaviour,” commented Cllr Bowe.