Fianna Fáil Councillor, Frankie Keena, has expressed his annoyance and frustration this week, as persistent illegal dumping continues to engulf the Athlone Moate Municipal District.
“The latest site which has been littered by illegal dumping is in the centre of Athlone along the Bower Hill Road which serves as the back entrance to the Bower Convent site.
“It is absolutely horrendous to witness the sheer volume of waste which is illegally disposed along the embankment at this location as it falls to the rear boundary of the houses on the lower Castlemaine Street road.
“Items such as black bags of domestic waste, white goods, gas cylinder bottles, construction rubble, assorted plastics and old toys are only a small selection of waste that is strewn in this location.
“Obviously, the presence of domestic waste is attracting vermin and the strong smell is stifling. This site has turned into an unauthorised landfill in the centre of Athlone and urgent action has to be taken to clean it up and to put procedures in place to prevent it from reoccurring.
“I have reported this to the Municipal District and I will be very strong in not accepting any excuses about getting it removed. There is a need for a long reach machine to collect this waste due to the steep embankment. This cul de sac road is a lovely walkway and offers fabulous views of Athlone due to its elevation,” Cllr Keena noted.
Cllr Keena also afforded his frustrated thoughts with regard to the slow manner in which the Housing Department within Westmeath County Council is addressing the unstable premises on this particular road.
“I am so frustrated with the slow progress of the Housing Department within Westmeath County Council in demolishing the unstable house along this road. Last year they relocated their tenants out of this house as part of it was gradually shifting down the embankment.
“At that time, I requested the premises be demolished immediately on health and safety grounds and was assured that the process of appointing a contractor was underway. Unfortunately, I have now been told that this still has to be done.
“The area around this local authority house is also destroyed with illegal waste dumping. My concern is that the perception with this house and dumping issues in this location is that it is out of sight and so out of mind. This is not good enough and I will be pushing the Council to take urgent appropriate action to address this major environmental issue in the centre of Athlone,” Cllr Keena concluded.