Newspaper for Crossmaglen, South Armagh, Newry and Down.

Councillor welcomes proactive approach to combat Blayney Road dumping

Slieve Gullion SDLP councillor Pete Byrne has welcomed assurances from the Environment Agency (NIEA) and Newry Mourne and Down District Council officials that work will begin to address the persistent illegal dumping of rubbish on the Blayney Rd, Crossmaglen.  The work will include the removal of rubbish from the are at the front of the site as well as erecting screening to help prevent future dumping.

The move has been prompted after an incident last week where a large amount of domestic waste, including household furniture, was dumped at the roadside, causing a hazard for passing traffic.  Mr Byrne was alerted to the incident by a member of the public and he immediately contacted the Council to begin the process of having the road cleared.

He said: “This is just one of a long list of incidents of dumping at this site, but the recent increase in dumping is alarming. As a local councillor, I have been working tirelessly over the last three years to address this issue.  I have liaised with both residents of the road and the family who own the land in order to get a solution. NIEA have been called numerous times over the last few years to clear rubbish, but can only do so when it spills onto the road or contaminates a water course. “Engagement has been ongoing with all relevant parties and progress is being made to address the entire problem. However, as soon as we take a few steps forward, some people think it’s acceptable to drag us right back by dumping the contents of their bins on the side of the road. We live in an area of outstanding natural beauty and this road is the main route to our fantastic public amenity at Lough Ross. As a community we are committed to showcasing all that our beautiful area has to offer and attract more tourists to south Armagh.  Acts like this drag us right down and serve only as an injustice to the area we strive to promote.”

Councillor Byrne revealed that “positive progress” has since been made at a site meeting with NIEA and Council officials.

“I have been assured that rubbish will be removed from a major part of the front of the site and it will be then screened off to prevent future dumping. I will continue to work on an overall solution through the mechanisms available in council and with all local councillors to finally bring this issue to an end,” he added.