Anger after massive plastic spillage in Dun Laoghaire

by Rebecca Ryan

[vc_row][vc_column width=”2/3″][vc_column_text]A massive plastic spillage in Dun Laoghaire has caused huge concern and outrage among the locals.

Last Friday Dun Laoghaire-Rathdown County Council (DLRCC) received complaints about the pollution incident at the Forty Foot coastline and Sandycove beach area as a result of works by SIAC/Mantovani Group at the council’s Dun Laoghaire Baths redevelopment project.

A clean-up team of 70 individuals, including a third-party environmental firm, was deployed on Friday afternoon to clean the thousands of ‘straw-like’ pieces washed up on the shore.

A statement from Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council said an investigation is being carried out to find the exact cause of the pollution incident and what impact it will have on sea life and wildlife in the area.

They also said a cleaning and monitoring operation is ongoing and that SIAC have committed not to engage in any further concrete marine works until confidence has been restored in their works.

DLRCC added that any costs incurred would be recouped from SIAC and Mantovani.

Mayor of Dun Laoghaire Rathdown County Council and local Green Party councillor Ossian Smyth said he is outraged by the incident.

“I am outraged that SIAC, one of Ireland’s largest construction companies, has caused a huge plastic pollution incident along the coast of Dun Laoghaire.

“The spillage is already impacting heavily all along the coast and will cause immense damage to local wildlife and biodiversity.

“I expect SIAC to pay for the entire clean-up operation, including compensating the council for the time of our own clean-up crews.

“I am glad to see that teams have been organised to assist with the clean-up, and I’d like to pay tribute to local people who have taken it upon themselves to assist.”

Chairperson of local Sandycove Clean Coast Group Margaret Brown said the group are heart broken.

“Sandycoast Clean Coast Group are extremely distraught to see the devastating effects this has caused to the coastline and the habitat of many species of our local wildlife.

“This is all the more heart-breaking given the efforts throughout the year to keep the coast in pristine condition for all to enjoy.

“We have noted that SIAC have committed to remedy this and were out over the week-end with council crew cleaning up affected areas. We will be expecting them to do so fully and to implement policies so that nothing like this occurs again.”

Cllr Cormac Devlin praised the clean-up efforts including locals who pitched in.

He said: “I want to acknowledge the efforts made by council officials since Friday afternoon when they were made aware of the incident. There is great anger that the contractor SIAC/Mantovani Group did not take immediate action to contain the scale of the pollution.”

“I want to praise the work of Flossie Donnelly (11) and other local volunteers who made efforts to clean up the coastline since the incident occurred. It should not fall to local groups to make right damage caused by a contractor’s negligence.”

The €9 million renovations to the Dun Laoghaire Baths will see the retention of the existing baths building and include a small cafe, an artist space, up-grading of the existing maritime gardens and a new jetty.

It will take approximately 22 months to complete and will open to the public in the spring of 2020.[/vc_column_text][/vc_column][vc_column width=”1/3″][/vc_column][/vc_row]

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