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Written Answers. - Illegal Dumping.

Wednesday, 27 March 2002

Dáil Éireann Debate
Vol. 551 No. 3

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 190. Mr. J. Bruton Information on John Bruton Zoom on John Bruton  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  if he has fully considered the report prepared by an inspector in his Department into illegal dumping at Newtowndarver, County Louth and into the payment of grants to a company which has since been dissolved; if he has satisfied himself that the inspector had regard to all available information; the course of action he now proposes to take; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10453/02]

 191. Mr. J. Bruton Information on John Bruton Zoom on John Bruton  asked the Minister for the Environment and Local Government Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey  the course of action he has taken as a result of information supplied to him concerning illegal dumping at Newtowndarver, County Louth; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [10454/02]

Minister for the Environment and Local Government (Mr. Dempsey): Information on Noel Dempsey Zoom on Noel Dempsey I propose to take Questions Nos. 190 and 191 together.

On 23 January 2002, I received a report from a member of the public which made a number of serious allegations concerning, among other things, unauthorised waste activities involving or associated with a company that had received grant assistance from my Department under the EU co-funded Operational Programme for Environmental Services, 1994-1999.

The Minister for the Environment and Local Government has no statutory function in the oversight or regulation of waste activities. However, in the circumstances of this case, and as an exceptional measure, I considered it appropriate that my Department should directly investigate the allegations in the said report.

At the request of the complainant, I also forwarded a copy of the report to the Criminal Assets Bureau, which in turn referred it to the [865] National Bureau of Criminal Investigation for consideration.

An inspector of my Department visited the area in question on 6 and 7 February 2002 and interviewed relevant members of the public and officials of Louth County Council. He had a lengthy telephone discussion with the complainant, who indicated that he also possessed further evidence in support of this complaint, in addition to his report of 23 January 2002 which had been stated to be comprehensive.

I have received a report of these investigations, and my Department has since made a number of recommendations to Louth County Council regarding further actions that should be considered by the council, having regard to the nature of the allegations concerned.

On 11 March 2002, the inspector concerned wrote to the complainant, in response to faxes dated 7 and 15 February 2002, pointing out, among other things, that it had been and remained open to him to submit to my Department such further evidence or information as is in his possession. I am not aware that any such material has been provided in the interim.


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