The area of Blessington in County Wicklow known as a location of stunning natural beauty is being tarnished by illegal dumping.
Blessington is now at the centre of reports that the largest dump in the country is located nearby.
Wicklow County Council said that a preliminary investigation had taken place at a site near Blessington and this would be expanded in the coming weeks.
This is just one of a number of dumps to be found in the area. The first discovered in Coonamadra, a case which led to a landmark prosecution. Then Whitestown dump was uncovered where a quarter of a million tonnes of rubbish was located. A site along the N81 to Dublin near Blessington is now under investigation. As the investigation continues, people in Blessington are worried that an illegal dump could endanger their water supply. This view is supported by Frank Corcoran President of An Taisce who says,
Liquid gunge concentrates into a toxic liquid which finds its way into the groundwater. The groundwater in this area feeds the wells for the housing estates on the west side of the town.
There are currently around one hundred dumping sites under investigation in County Wicklow.
An Taisce wants all illegal waste to be removed immediately and the European Commission is investigating whether Ireland is in compliance with environmental directives.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10 December 2002. The reporter is Paul Cunningham.