Photo L to R. Denis Dowling , Cllr John King, Seamus Bergin, Paddy O'Dea (Coillte) and Ray Kelly.
A group of concerned residents and turf bank owners are extremely annoyed with the amount of rubbish being dumped on their bogs in Laois.
Ongoing repeated large scale illegal dumping at bogs in Errill is causing anger for local residents according to Cllr John King.
Residents have serious concerns over the illegal dumping which happens regularly at Lismouragha and Ballagh bog in Errill.
Cllr King put forward a notice of motion at the February Borris-in-Ossory/Mountmmelick Municipal District meeting asking that Laois County Council take a more serious approach to tackle the problem.
Cllr King insisted that the issue must be addressed and asked for CCTV cameras to be put up in the area.
Laois County Council acknowledged that Deegan’s bog, Ballagh bog and Lismouragha bog in the environs of Errill have ‘been subject to repeated large scale illegal dumping’.
The local authority said it will make an application for funding under the anti illegal dumping initiative for 2018 for these bogs.
The initiative will include clean up, enforcement, CCTV, signage, gates and educational programmes such as the “leave no trace” to be run in local primary and secondary schools.
Elsewhere, Cllr Tom Mulhall from Emo has called on Laois County Council to ask the Government to change the law to allow it “name and shame” people caught.
He and other councillors also want litter fines increased in line with the amount dumped.
“If €150 is the fine for a piece of paper or chewing gum, then the fine should be more for a bag of litter. The scale of dumping since New Year has been appalling,” Cllr Mulhall said at a recent council meeting.
“This is costing Coillte and Laois County Council a lot. The last call I got, there was 14 black bags on a site that was only recently cleaned up. This is probably going to get worse. It was dumped near a house, the owner said it was nearly the same as someone breaking in,” he said.
He was seconded by Cllr John Joe Fennelly.
“More bags were left on the two lanes to Abbeyleix Bog. It's local people doing it, Laois people dumping on Laois roads,” he said.
Cllr John Moran agreed but wants leniency for lesser offences, such as people leaving a box of bottles beside a full bring bank.
“Punishment should be higher but for mistakes it should be waived,” he said.