Rubbish Dumped at Recycling Bins in Castleisland as Fire Destroys Dunes in Banna

Bags of household rubbish dumped against one of the bins which announces that the area is covered by CCTV cameras at the Aldi car-park in Castleisland. Photograph: Cathleen Reidy
Wildlife scorched by the fires on the dunes on Banna Strand. Photograph by Cllr. Deirdre Ferris
The remains of the Banna Beach dune fires speak for themselves. Photograph: Cllr. Deirdre Ferris.

On the face of it, it hasn’t been a good weekend on the local environmental issues front.

Disgusting scenes of household refuse dumping greeted shoppers at the weekend beside the recycling bins on the Aldi car park at Tonbwee here in Castleisland.

Incredibly, the bags of rubbish were dumped against one of the bins which announces that the area is covered by CCTV cameras.

Apart from the assault on the senses that an act like this represents, it is doubly and more reprehensible in the midst of the pandemic which has plagued the world from the beginning of this year.

And you’ll read Cllr. Deirdre Ferris’ observations below on the devastation of the vegetation on the sand dunes on Banna Strand also over the weekend.

Castleisland’s relationship with the widely used recycling facilities placed here over the years has been very patchy.

Mind-boggling Abuse

A gift to the people of the locality who treat the facility as it should be, but an opportunity to a minority whose regular abuse is all too public and all too regular and mind-boggling for anyone concerned for the environment.

Not so long ago here I mentioned the awful state of the back gardens of the houses on Main Street which backed onto the mart yard.

The low boundary wall between the gardens and the accessibility of the mart yard make it an ideal dumping ground for those of a mind.

Follow-Up of Offenses

More rigorous follow-up of offenses and fines for those convicted will have to be at least considered as appealing to a minority of the public is clearly not working.

In Castleisland’s ongoing blight of fly-tipping / rubbish dumping it would be an ideal test case for the placing of surveillance cameras at black-spots – and there are several such areas of choice here.

Scenic Spots Targetted

And it’s not just the town itself that’s being hit so badly. Some of the most scenic spots of the surrounding hills have been targeted by people for whom these places have become a convenience for their acts of environmental vandalism.

I must keep an eye on the papers to see if anyone gets caught and fined for this kind of outrageous behaviour.

After all Kerry County Council spends a couple of million euros every year cleaning the streets of our towns after us.

Fines for littering go from a lowly €150 up to the serious €3,000 mark for a successful prosecution.

Destruction of Dunes on Banna Strand

Following new fires in Banna Strand on Sunday night, which resulted in approximately one acre of sand dunes being burned, Councillor Deirdre Ferris is once again calling on Kerry County Council to close all secondary car parks on a temporary basis.

“Sunday night’s blaze started, once again, as the result of a camp fire at a party held in the dunes late on Sunday night,” said Cllr. Ferris.

Empty Alcohol Bottles and Cans

“Kerry Fire and Rescue Service was once again called upon to get the fire under control in a bid to limit the devastation.

“All that’s left behind on the scorched dune are empty alcohol bottles and cans, and the remains of protected wildlife that were tragically burned alive.

“This Special Area of Conservation and Special Protected Area has once again been targeted by individuals who have no respect for the importance of the area or the community which lives there.

Anti-Social Behaviour

“Kerry County Council has an obligation to ensure the area’s protection and conservation, and must act urgently to ensure that every possible step is taken to stop this anti-social behaviour.

“If we do not act now, it is only a matter of time before the area loses its status under the European Habitats Directive or its Blue Flag status, or more importantly, before someone gets seriously hurt,” concluded Cllr. Ferris.