A community activist who led a campaign against widespread illegal dumping in parts of Cork’s northside says she will not be intimidated into silence after a manure attack on her car.
Noreen Murphy, who is running as an independent candidate in next week’s local elections, spoke out as gardaí continue their investigation into the incident at her home in Ballyvolane on Wednesday night: “I am not going to give up fighting for the safety of my family and the other families in my community, and that’s a fact."
Gardaí based at Watercourse Road are investigating a criminal damage incident to a vehicle on Glenheights Road on the evening of May 15, however, a garda spokesman said: “No arrests have been made and investigations are ongoing."
Ms Murphy said manure was thrown over the front gate of her home and over the family car where it was parked. Her estate overlooks the massive Ellis’s yard site, alongside the Spring Lane halting site.
Ms Murphy led a vocal campaign to demand action from the authorities on the vast illegal dump which had developed on the city council-owned Ellis’s yard site over the last year or so.
Hundreds of tonnes of illegally dumped material, including asbestos, were eventually cleared from the site in March as part of a massive clean-up operation.
The site was subsequently secured, a CCTV system was installed, and security staff were hired to patrol the site 24-hours a day. But a masked and armed gang threatened security staff earlier this month and forced them to withdraw from the site. Their security hut was subsequently burned out.
Ms Murphy said she believes her home was targeted in an attempt to intimidate her into silence about illegal dumping in the area: “I’m not going to apologise for wanting to breathe clean safe air.
She pointed out that five tons of asbestos were removed from Ellis’s yard and that the fire brigade was tasked to fires in Ellis’s yard 90 times last year: "The people who profit from illegal dumping, who poison our communities, do not care if your child is sick, as long as they are making money.
"They do not care if your child has lung cancer or asthma. They do not care if your mother is choking and spends half her life with an oxygen mask. They only care about making money regardless of the human suffering."
“When the cheap rubbish collectors come to your door, think of a child on an oxygen mask in a hospital. Think of a grandmother with lung cancer or emphysema fighting for her life.
"Think of a young man being bitten by a rat and suffering a terrible death. And just think, they could be your family. Is it worth it?”