RESIDENTS living near a massive illegal dump have promised to bring the “sights, smells and sounds” to City Hall at a protest on Monday.
Local resident Noreen Murphy has organised the event and says City Council must deliver on promises to clean up Ellis’s Yard, beside the Spring Lane halting site in Ballyvolane.
The protest will take place at 4.30pm outside the Council chamber.
Ms Murphy said: “We are going to invite the councillors and City Hall officials to experience the ambience of living next door to a dump. We are going to bring the sights, smells and sounds. We won’t be bringing rubbish but they’ll get to experience what we, the residents, have to experience every day. It will be a surprise.
“According to Cork City Council’s own policy, if there is rubbish on your property, the onus is on the owner to clear it, no matter how it gets there.
“City Council are failing to implement their own litter laws on their own land. This is going on a very, very long time. I’ve reported them to the EPA and I plan to report them to Europe as well.
“We’ve listened to, for years basically, copied and pasted statements. We’re the ones living with bluebottles, flies and smoke.
“This is an area bigger than Glen Rovers pitch. It’s horrific. I won’t believe their plans until I see a bulldozer in there clearing it up because Cork City Council have had plans down through the months and years and they never get.
"They are impacting on the health of the area, the local amenities in the area and there are serious risks to public health and this is devaluing property in the area."
Labour Party election candidate John Maher has called on residents in Ballyvolane/ Dublin Hill to support the protest.
“Noreen and other residents are calling on Cork City Council to clean up the site that it owns, Ellis’s Yard in Ballyvolane,” said Mr Maher.
“As a resident in the area, you can see firsthand how this is affecting the community, burning rubbish, cars dumping rubbish and disappearing and the many hours that Cork City Fire Brigade has spent putting out repeated fires at the site.
“The time for talking is over and we need action from Cork City Council immediately. The Ellis’s Yard site needs cleaning and Cork City Council needs to show leadership on this issue and solve this issue once and for all so that residents can go about this daily routines in a safe and healthy environment. The same old routines are simply not working. Fair play to Noreen for highlighting the issue and keeping it to the fore. Cork City Council must listen to what the residents are saying,” he added.
City Hall has plans to get dumping at the site by using CCTV.
Fire crews were called out to tackle blazes at Ellis’s Yard, near Spring Lane halting site, again in recent weeks, prompting calls for more stringent measures to tackle the issue.
There were more than 90 call-outs to fires at the Ellis’s Yard site in 2018. The number of call-outs more than doubled compared to 2017. Almost €200,000 has been spent by Cork City Council on cleaning up the site in the last decade.
Councillor Ken O’Flynn (FF) has called for the illegal dump to be closed, while local GP and councillor Dr John Sheehan (FF) has highlighted the health risks to locals. The council’s director of environment, Valerie O’Sullivan, said a clean-up will take place, perimeter fences will be fixed and CCTV will be used to identify dumping culprits.