'We cannot face into another summer with this dump here': Cork residents prepared to take dump fight to Europe

Residents living near a huge illegal dump on the north side of Cork city say they will take their fight to Europe to ensure that it is cleaned up permanently.

It is now three weeks since protestors brought the sights and smells of Ellis's Yard to Cork City Hall. The council-owned site, which is adjacent to the Spring Lane Hall halting site in Ballyvolane, has been the site of a massive illegal dump for years.

While Cork City Council has committed to cleaning up the site 'in the coming weeks', residents say they are frustrated with how long it has taken to get to this point.

In recent weeks, chief executive of Cork City Council, Ann Doherty, described the site as 'challenging' for residents and for city management.

She said officials have been working on a plan and have secured funding to clean the site but she said it is essential that the overall project includes the securing of the site to ensure that dumping is prevented in the long-term.

Since the protest, it has emerged that the clean-up will cost at least €53,000 - and that price does not include new fencing, pest control measures or CCTV. It follows the spend of €570,000 on three cleanups between 2003 and 2014.

MEP Luke 'Ming' Flanagan has submitted a query with the European Commission on behalf of the residents.

It calls on European authorities to investigate whether local or national authorities are in breach of environmental or public safety legislation as a result of the condition of the council-owned site.

"This dump contains general household rubbish, furniture, fridges, industrial waste, resulting in a plague of vermin, fires and foul smells. It is just meters away from a creche, a football pitch used by children, small industry and within 100 metres from streets and homes," Mr Flanagan's motion said.

Noreen Murphy, who organised the protest outside City Hall in recent weeks, said that residents have had enough:

We cannot face into another summer with this dump here. There is an actual threat to the health of nearby residents from toxic smoke, vermin and particulate matter that is carried on the wind.

Cork City Council did not respond to a request for comment.

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