Mayo County Council brought waste charges against a couple from Ballinrobe at this week’s sitting of Castlebar District Court; the extremity of the waste was described as “utterly shocking” by Judge Mary Devins.
Environmental enforcement officer with Mayo County Council, Des Hannick, said that a complaint was made to the council on August 19 2011 in relation to waste which was in the back garden of the home of Tom and Anne Sweeney, 17 Gort na Gloch, Ballinrobe. Mr Hannick called to the privately rented house where he observed the large amount of rubbish in the back garden. On numerous occasions the environmental enforcement officer contacted the couple through letters and speaking to Tom Sweeney. The landlord of the property, who is based in Dublin, was also contacted, however the waste was not removed. A skip was hired by the defendants, however Mr Hannick said that when he inspected the garden in November there was still about two skip loads of rubbish accumulated in the back garden.
Photos of the waste were handed in which depicted the state of the back garden from the initial complaint period right up until this week. Among this rubbish was household waste, furniture, and what Judge Devins said was a “mountain” of used nappies, which reached about three feet high, and were located next to the back door.
Mr Hannick said that local residents have complained about the “odour, flies, and vermin” from the rubbish. He was asked whether he observed any vermin to which he said he did not, however “there were a few cats hanging around.”
The Sweeneys were not in court nor represented. Judge Devins issued a bench warrant for their arrest.