Minister Regina Doherty has condemned the dumping of 600 tons of industrial and domestic waste on Coillte forestry lands just outside Kingscourt.
The waste includes plastics, broken pipes, polystyrene, foam and domestic rubbish.
“This was not an example of casual fly-tipping but a large scale, highly organised and criminal exercise. These are the people’s forests and this act is an attack on all of us and whoever carried this out should face the strongest possible sanctions.. As well as the environmental damage, there are health risks associated with the dumping of such materiel. Obviously, the immediate priority is to clear away this waste and I will be making representations to the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment to provide Coillte with the necessary resources and finances to ensure a rapid clean-up.”
Coilte confirmed this week that the 600 tonnes of industrial and domestic waste at Drumgill is the single largest incidence it has ever had.
The waste is dumped in forestry land on either side of a public road, in an isolated area close to where the two ATMs stolen from Kells were found.
Meath County Council and Coillte are investigating the incident, which has been described as having been done on an "industrial scale," and is expected will cost €100,000 to clear. They are also working with the Gardai to identify who is behind it. They are appealing to the public to report dumping to the Local Authority or contact Coillte on 1890800455.
Coillte believes the dumping must have been "organized with military precision" and it would have taken 30 articulated trucks several days to transport all the waste to the site.
The illegal dumping was reported by a member of the public and Coilte responded immediately and met Meath County Council the next day.