Another fire at a vast illegal dump on the northside of Cork City has prompted renewed calls for the authorities to act.
The latest blaze at the Ellis’s Yard site, next to a Traveller halting site in Ballyvolane, brings to almost 80 the number of fire brigade call-outs to the site since the start of this year. That is more than the total number of call-outs to the site in the previous two years combined.
Fianna Fáil councillor Ken O’Flynn, said enough is enough and he called for the council-owned yard and the council-managed halting site to be shut down.
“This uncontrolled, unmanaged, illegal dump is unacceptable in this day and age,” he said.
The people of the northside do not deserve to be treated like this. We are putting our valiant firefighters in continuous danger. I’ve placed the motion before Cork City Council calling on the immediate cleaning of the Ellis Yard site and the closure of the Spring Lane halting site.
He also said the city must seek State funding to acquire sites and build accommodation to house the residents of the halting site. “For too long we have ignored these sites, and cast a blind eye on what’s happening there. It is a terrible indictment of present and previous management of the city,” he said.
Figures released by City Hall show that by the middle of August, fire crews had been called to tackle fires at Ellis’s yard 77 times since the start of the year.
The figures show that there were 18 call-outs to the site in 2014; 25 in 2015; 17 in 2016 and 40 in 2017.
City Hall confirmed that it has carried out a number of “covert operations” and monitored the dump site from a distance.
From surveys carried out by the council’s environment and recreation directorate over the years, we have found waste on site including metal, plastics, tyres, furniture, domestic waste, electrical goods, timber and rubble,” it said.
The council also confirmed €183,965 has been spent on cleanups of the site since 2008. Gardaí have been called to the area on several occasions to provide support to firefighters tackling blazes there.
In an unrelated operation, as firefighters tackled Wednesday’s blaze, gardaí mounted a large operation at the halting site to seize a car as part of an investigation into alleged road traffic offences.