illegal dumping, Donegal national park

Illegal dumping and mechanical turf cutting discovered in Glenveagh National Park

4th April 2017

Asbestos and a large pile of building materials has been found illegally dumped in a national park in Co Donegal over the weekend.

The Irish Wildlife Trust (IWT) has sent a complaint letter to both Donegal County Council and the Environmental Protection Agency over the discovery in Glenveagh National Park.

Glenveagh is the second largest national park in Ireland, and a major draw for tourists and hikers.

A large amount of builder’s rubble was found in woodlands close to the main entrance of the park, set in the heart of the Derryveagh Mountains.

A substance thought to be asbestos was also found along a bog track in the park.

The Trust also found evidence of mechanical turf extraction inside the park. This runs in direct contravention of the National Peatlands Strategy.  The IWT uncovered similar activities inside the park in 2013.

“It’s quite astonishing for this activity to be happening anywhere but to see it inside one of our National Parks is particularly distressing,” said Pádraic Fogarty, Campaign Officer at the IWT.

“The fact that this seems to be an on-going feature suggests that serious questions need to be asked of the National Parks and Wildlife Service and park management.”

New turf banks were also found inside a wider ‘Special Area of Conservation’ located just outside of the park.

According to the IWF, this is illegal and runs in contravention of national policy guidelines.

The government recently announced a new initiative to tackle illegal dumping hotspots across the country.

The initiative will provide €650,000 to support clean-up and the targeting of those responsible for illegal dumping.

Plans include the use of surveillance technologies such as drones and CCTV to deter future dumping.

Local authorities can apply for funding through their relevant Waste Enforcement Regional Local Authority for projects partnering community groups with state agencies.

About the Author

Niall Sargent

Niall is the Editor of The Green News. He is a multimedia journalist, with an MA in Investigative Journalism from City University, London