Galway West TD Noel Grealish has welcomed confirmation from An Taoiseach that regulations are being drawn up to allow CCTV footage be used to identify and prosecute illegal dumpers.
The Independent TD raised the issue with Micheál Martin in the Dáil, saying the blight of illegal dumping continued to be a major problem across the country, costing local authorities millions of euro to clean up each year.
“On many occasions I have raised the issue of illegal dumping in the Dáil, both with the Taoiseach and with the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, Deputy Eamon Ryan.
“One of the biggest problems was that CCTV footage could not be used in court to bring the culprits to justice. This ongoing illegal dumping is destroying our countryside, our towns, our villages and, most importantly, our environment.
Taoiseach Micheál Martin, acknowledging that Deputy Grealish had been a long-standing campaigner on the issue and had raised the matter before with him, said a Bill had been passed which would resolve the problem.
“The Circular Economy and Miscellaneous Provisions Act 2022 has been passed and the Minister of State, Deputy Ossian Smyth, tells me that measure has been included in it.
“There will need to be regulations to give effect to that,” the Taoiseach said, adding: “They are being drawn up, allowing for the use of CCTV in respect of illegal dumping.”
Deputy Grealish has welcomed the Taoiseach’s confirmation of changes allowing CCTV to be used to catch illegal dumpers, who, he said, had been found to cost local authorities up to €90m in clean-up costs every year.
When he previously raised the issue in the Dáil, he pointed out that the level of illegal dumping along a 1 km stretch of road on the outskirts of Galway City was appalling and had been going on for the five years.
Deputy Grealish also called for the setting up of a task force, comprising An Garda Síochána, Government Departments and local authorities to deal with this issue.
“I hope that these regulations can be implemented before the end of 2022 to help address the huge problem of illegal dumping, which continues to plague our countryside,” he concluded.