IFA Environment Chairman Thomas Cooney has called for tougher sanctions on serial dumpers who use the Irish countryside as a skip for their illegal activities. He has also called for changes to the legislation so that farmers are no longer held legally responsible for reckless dumping by others.
He said, “Ireland’s natural landscape has been preserved over the years by generations of farm families. It is widely recognised that our scenic beauty underpins our tourism offering, however illegal dumping of builders’ rubble, mattresses, furniture and electrical appliances continues to undermine the good work of farm families, and stronger action is now required from Government.
“Minister Naughten’s recent decision to increase on the spot fines for littering is welcomed and must be followed up with increased enforcement action by local authorities, as well as tougher sentences and penalties for large scale serial dumpers.”
IFA has called for changes to existing litter legislation to remove the threat of fines and prosecution for famers on whose lands others dump litter recklessly.
Thomas Cooney concluded by calling on the Department of Environment and local authorities to develop a co-ordinated approach to assist the public in managing their rubbish correctly. He called on county councils to establish a network of strategically located skips on civic amenity sites on the outskirts of towns and villages, where people can safely dispose of rubbish, rather than litter the countryside.