A SERIES of armed garda checkpoints will take place across north Dublin in coming weeks to target illegal dumping.
The Armed Response Unit, Traffic Corps and Divisional Crime Task Force were drafted in to man the first of these random checkpoints in Baldoyle last week.
They assisted Fingal County Council’s environment enforcement unit in a clampdown on fly-tipping which has escalated over the summer months.
A council spokesperson confirmed: “The checkpoints will continue with the aim of identifying unauthorised and bogus refuse collectors.”
Fianna Fail TD Darragh O’Brien commended the action and rejected any suggestion that it was a waste of public resources.
He told The Gazette: “The waste industry is very lucrative and there are organised criminal gangs involved. This is not about people throwing bags of rubbish in the ditch – it’s far more serious and sinister than that.”
Last week’s operation resulted in several seizures and the council is now seeking the owners of the rubbish in order to prosecute them.
It warned that members of the public availing of “illegal services” to dispose of rubbish would be liable for prosecution and could face fines and possible imprisonment.
A council spokesperson said: “Illegal dumping across Fingal is a serious issue and we are adopting a hard-line attitude in relation to prosecuting unauthorised collectors, as well as those who are employing them to dump their rubbish.
“The checkpoints in Baldoyle were extremely successful and we are grateful to An Garda Siochana for their support in mounting this operation.
“We would appeal to the public to report any incidents of fly-tipping to the gardai or to ourselves on our hotline number, which is 1800 20 10 93.”