A group of concerned residents have taken matters into their own hands to deal with the on-going problem of litter in Dalgan Bog in south Mayo. A spate of illegal dumping has accumulated tons of rubbish resulting and the place has now become an eyesore and health hazard for people who save turf and also avail of the recreational advantages of the area.
On a five mile stretch of bog road large quantities of used tyres have been dumped regularly at various locations. Other items such as plastic silage wrapping, electrical appliances, bottles, old furniture and, in some instances, dead animals are to be found dumped in drains and watercourses that flow into the nearby Black River.
A meeting was held recently in Ballycushion School regarding the dumping issue and locals decided to undertake the clean-up themselves. Villagers in Ballycushion, Carramore, Dalgan, Gurteen and Brackloon came on board resulting in an amazing example of a small community taking active responsibility.
Men, women and children from the area have voluntarily answered this mammoth ask over the last few weeks. When The Mayo News visited last week people were busy at work with everyone involved going about their unwanted chore in a good-humoured manner. Despite the nature of the task it still manages to generate camaraderie among the volunteers.
Already vast piles of rubbish had been gathered and stacked along the roadside awaiting collection by Mayo County Council. Local councillors Damian Ryan and Patsy O’Brien are lending support to the venture also. Cllr Ryan has tabled a motion for next week’s area meeting requesting the installation of cameras on an ad-hoc basis. Both councillors agree the offenders must be identified and charged before the courts.
On Saturday last Michael Monaghan of Ballinrobe Waste provided a refuse truck free of charge to remove and dispose of the waste. Ballinrobe Waste employee Joe Davin, who is also actively involved in the clean-up, gave freely of his time driving the vehicle.
Sharon Cameron, Environmental Awareness Officer with Mayo County Council, was loud in her praise of the community. “A few weeks ago I met with Bernie Lydon, Christy Hughes, Mike Acton and Veronica Kelly who were organising a voluntary clean-up of a large illegal dumpsite in their area. Mayo County Council supported this by providing bags, litter pickers, gloves and the disposal of collected waste. We are delighted to help this wonderful community who undertook this most difficult of tasks.
“They have done the back-breaking work of collecting other people’s rubbish and ensuring it is safely disposed of. In doing this, they are contributing so much to protecting their environment. Volunteers like those are the heartbeat of our county and Mayo County Council thanks them for what they have achieved over the last few weeks.”
Speaking to The Mayo News, Christy Hughes on behalf of the group said the community were sending out a clear message that dumping will no longer be tolerated in this area. “From now on it will be prevention rather than cure.”
Locals tackle Dalgan Bog rubbish problems by Willie McHugh
From the Mayo News May 22 , 2012