A survey focused on illegal dumping in Galway has been launched this week by Galway East Sinn Féin activist Louis O’Hara.

According to O’Hara, the survey will look at the causes and potential solutions to such dumping, which he said has become a significant problem across the county in recent times.

Calling on people across Co. Galway to take part in the survey and “have their voice heard”, O’Hara said:

“Illegal dumping is is a blight on our communities and it is frustrating for the vast majority who pay for their waste collection.

“It is a growing problem, and it is estimated that illegal dumping has increased by up to 25% across the state since the beginning of the Covid pandemic.”

Continuing, he said: “We have seen shocking incidents of dumping in Galway in recent weeks, such as in Ballygar where a JCB and flatbed truck had to be used to clear an illegal dumping site, and in Derryfadda Bog near Ballyforan where 97 bags of rubbish were gathered during a clean-up of illegal dumping there.

“These are not the only incidents and I have been contacted by numerous people across the county over the past number of months concerned about increased illegal dumping in their local area.”

O’Hara warned that, as well as its harmful effects on the environment, such irresponsible dumping costs the state a huge amount of money to clean up, noting:

“More than €100 million per year is being spent by local authorities on addressing the issue. It is a huge strain on the resources of Galway County Council and takes funding away from services where it is badly needed.

“It’s clear that more needs to be done to tackle illegal dumping. High waste collection charges, a lack of waste collection and recycling centres, inadequate penalties for illegal dumping and a lack of enforcement are just some of the issues that need to be addressed.”

Launching the survey to gauge people’s views on the causes and potential solutions to the problem, O’Hara said: “I am calling on people across Co. Galway to take part in the survey and have their voice heard so that we can put forward sensible, workable solutions to the issue.

“We will analyze and collate the responses to the survey and raise them with both Galway County Council and the government to highlight what needs to be done.

“Now more than ever we need decisive action from the state to halt the scourge of illegal dumping,” he concluded.