MORE than three hundred tonnes of waste has been illegally dumped at an unused sand pit in Inishowen, a court heard this week.
Jim and Patsy Barr both of Avondale House, Burnfoot, and John Barr of Magherabeg, Inch Island, admitted four charges each of ‘waste management’ offences relating to two dates in April 2012.
The appeared at Buncrana District Court on Tuesday where a Glenties-based refuse collector, Shaun Molloy & Sons Ltd, trading as Donegal Waste, and it’s directors Shaun and Geraldine Molloy of Kilraine, Glenties, faced similar charges.
One of their former employees, lorry driver Derek McNelis of Loughros Point, Ardara, was also charged.
It is understood that the charges relate to a large 300 tonne illegal dump at ‘Barr’s Pit’, Birdstown, Burnfoot and consists of non-recyclable household waste.
Jim Barr’s solicitor, Mr Donough Cleary, said his clients admitted the charges and had come up with a plan to remove the waste which he had planned to do over two days in June and two days in July.
However, he said, this would result in ‘huge costs’ to his client.
Judge Paul Kelly accepted this but he determined that it was “self inflicted.”
Mr Cleary added: “The council has estimated that 300 tonnes of waste have to be removed and we would predict that this will cost my client around €200 per tonne.
“This is the biggest penalty he will have to pay – it will cost him about €50,000 or €60,000 to solve the matter. I propose to put the case back until the end of July to give Mr Barr time to carry out the work.”
Mr Cleary said the nature of the waste was “mostly non-toxic” and consisted of residue that can’t be recycled from households.
He also said the area of contamination was larger than the area that the waste was dumped.
Solicitor for the Molloys, Mr Paudge Dorrian, said his clients accepted responsibility for one lorry load for illegal waste.
“We accept responsibility for one lorry load only – we’re not responsible for the volume that Mr Cleary is talking about. Mr McNelis was driving the lorry, but he has been in Australia since March 2013,” he said.
Judge Kelly ruled that the case be adjourned to allow for the waste to be removed. He maintained if all of the waste was removed he would be “inclined to take it into consideration”.
He adjourned the case until July to “finalise all matters.”
"The Council is also urging people not to engage in activities that could contribute to the cause of wildfires."