Will dumping be an even bigger problem in bogs in mid Tipperary in years to come?
Fears that dumping could become rampant once workers disappear from the Littleton briquette factory
There are huge concerns in the mid Tipperary area for the future of the boglands once the Bord na Mona plant in Littleton ceases operations, with fears of heightened illegal dumping chief amongst the worries.
The Littleton plant is to be wound down by the company over the next few years and this will effectively take up to 120 people out of the bogs - people who have been on the watchout for illegal dumping, and anti-social behaviour all the time. In effect, it means that 120 pairs of eyes will be removed from the boglands and the fear is that the areas around Littleton, Ballynonty Templetuohy, Gortnahoe - areas which straddle three counties in fact, could well become targets for all sorts of illegal activities.
Councillor Sean Ryan raised the matter at a meeting of the Templemore Thurles Municipal District and referred to the number of stray and loose horses wandering around the bog area - a serious incident with a taxi driver had occurred a few weeks ago, he said, with a lot of damage being caused to his vehicle. “If there had been a fatality, we would have changed our view on this. I have to say, the Gardai have been very proactive in this regard,” said Cllr Ryan who added that horses have also wandered in to the playground in Littleton very regularly.
Dumping on the roadside is a scourge on the environment.
Cllr. Ryan asked for the council to contact Bord na Mona highlighting their concerns about the bogs, post closure and said that there is a responsibility to protect the boglands.
Cllr John Hogan agreed with Cllr Ryan and said that he had requested a Masterplan be drawn up by Bord na Mona twelve months ago. He too fears for the bogs when Bord na Mona are gone and he expressed the view that the company cannot simply turn the key in the gate and walk away from the plant.
Cllr Seamus Hanafin said that Bord na Mona has a social responsibility to the area which has served them so well for so long. Adding that the Lisheen Mine closure plan had been drawn up in consultation with the local autority and the community, and carried out, a similar plan should be put in place for Bord na Mona at Littleton.
“It is very important that this is done right and Bord na Mona needs to be apart of this and needs to co-operate with it,” he said.