A “mountain of manure” has been dumped on a vacant site on one of the main access routes to the world-famous tourist village of Blarney in Cork.
The huge steaming pile of manure, about 30ft long and up to 6ft high in places, is rotting on the former O’Reilly Travel site, within sight of Blarney Castle.
Locked gates block access to the site, which has been vacant for several years.
The site was once one of the largest offices in the O'Reilly Travel group, founded by a pioneering legend of Irish tourism, the late Joe O'Reilly, who also offered traditional horse-drawn caravans for hire from the site.
A company with a potential interest in the site has been contacted for comment. It has yet to respond.
Local Fine Gael councillor Damian Boylan said at first people believed that the material had been deposited on the site temporarily but he said there were now fears that the material may just have been dumped there.
It is completely unacceptable for such material to be left to rot in such a high-visibility location on a route used by hundreds of tourists daily, he said.
"This is one of the first sites many visitors to Blarney will see as they come into the village from the Ballincollig and Killarney direction.
“It is an insult to them and to the local community, and is damaging to the village’s reputation.
Mr Boylan said responsibility for the removal of the material rests in the first instance with the site owners.
However, he has also urged Cork City Council to use whatever powers it can, under either vacant or derelict sites legislation, to address this and wider issues with the site.
Since the site was vacated, it has attracted anti-social behaviour and should now be considered for inclusion on the derelict sites register, he said.
“I want the owners of this site to remove the material, to clean and tidy up the area and make it presentable, or secure the development of the site, and if they can’t do it, then sell it to someone who can.
“And I want the council to emphatically pursue the site owners.
“Most of the news from Blarney is overwhelmingly positive — we see a problem, then we try to fix it. For example, when it came to responding to the Ukrainian humanitarian crisis, the community responded incredibly and just got on with helping those who needed help.
“But I have had enough with people just leaving sites to rot and the idea of leaving tonnes of manure to rot on a vacant site like this is just not on.”