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Limerick City ‘cowboys’ blamed for illegal dumping at 12 O’Clock Hills

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Illegal dumping at the 12 O’Clock Hills is being carried out by “cowboys” from Limerick City, a Clare councillor has claimed.

Four areas of significant illegal dumping has resulted in four fines being handed out by Clare County Council based on evidence found, it has emerged. Cllr Alan O’Callaghan (FF) appealed for more resources following “huge volumes of illegal dumping” at the popular walking trail. He noted that the “bad behaviour” was “an ongoing concern to all”.

Brendan Flynn, senior executive engineer within the Council’s Environment Department confirmed that they are “investing time and resources” on monitoring and investigating illegal dumping throughout the county.

Work of the environmental section plus the issuing of fines were seen as positives by Cllr O’Callaghan. He claimed, “I can categorically say it’s coming from a different county, it’s coming from the city of Limerick”. “There are bogus collectors collecting this rubbish, people are paying them to get their rubbish taken away but it’s ending up in East Clare,” he stated.

Cllr Alan O’Callaghan. Photo: Gary Collins

He questioned if CCTV was required at what he described “a great amenity service”. “I would love to see the figures, what it is costing Clare County Council to clean up this, there was a dead horse there this morning. I hope to God the people that get these fines are being hammered for it”.

“We’re beginning to get to the root of it but more needs to be done. It’s time to name and shame these people to see can we cut out this totally unreal illegal dumping,” Cllr Joe Cooney (FG) commented in seconding the motion.

Cllr Pat Hayes (FF) praised his colleague for bringing forward the motion. “I am glad Cllr O’Callaghan alluded to where a lot of it is coming to. Someone dumped their bedclothes on my land over the Christmas, I would be liable if the Council came which is a very strange system. It would be nice to find out what the four fines were and what they were fined”.

Now that fines were issued, Cllr O’Callaghan was confident there would be a prosecution, “A lot of the fines I think are what it cost to clean the whole thing up”. Hayes added, “That’s the point I’m coming to. Name and shame, those four people should be named and shamed. Under regulation you’re supposed to know where your rubbish is going, you can’t give your rubbish to any cowboy to take”.

70 percent of the dumped items are recyclable, O’Callaghan estimated. “These guys are brazen, they have went to one spot for three times, the Fire Service had to be called the second time and they still came back,” the Kilmurry representative added.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, and A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to -

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