77 fire call-outs to Ellis' Yard

77 fire call-outs to Ellis' Yard
Fire at an unofficial dumping area next to Spring Lane site in Cork City. Ellis’s Yard site in Ballyvolane.

CITY fire services have been called to fire incidents at the illegal dump in Ellis' Yard on the city's northside 77 times already this year.

It is almost double the total number of incidents recorded last year when fire services were summoned to Ellis' Yard or the Spring Lane halting site next door on 40 occasions.

In all, the city's fire services have been called to the areas some 177 times since 2014, according to figures supplied by City Hall.

Ellis' Yard, adjacent to the Spring Lane halting site and a nearby housing estate, has long been a hotbed of illegal dumping. There were a number of high profile fires in the area during the summer, prompting calls for the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to investigate the site.

The report was issued by City Hall in response to a series of questions from local councillor Kenneth O'Flynn. It states that €183,965 of public money has been spent on cleaning up the site since 2008.

Mr O'Flynn described the report as 'alarming' and called for Ellis'

Yard and the adjacent halting site at Spring Lane to be shut down for good.

The Fianna Fáil councillor said that he has lodged a formal complaint with the EPA about the site.

"The fact that €183,000 of public money has been spent here in the last ten years is an absolute indictment of how lazy, stupid and pound foolish we have been when it comes to Spring Lane and Ellis' Yard," he said.

"They need to be shut down forever. We need to take the residents - the 100+ people living in the 36 or 37 caravans on Spring Lane - and move them to three new sites throughout the city as is in line with best practice under Irish and EU law, which state that these sites should be no bigger than ten legal bays."

Mr O'Flynn said that there have been a number of issues in the area when it came to monitoring illegal dumping at Ellis' Yard.

"CCTV cameras have been damaged and interfered with and access has been blocked to the site," he said.

"The current situation is completely unacceptable for the residents nearby and for the residents at Spring Lane. It is a health hazard, it is dangerous and it has been ignored for far too long."

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