INVESTIGATIONS are underway following the discovery of of what appears to be tonnes of construction rubble dumped into the Lobster Ponds just outside Castletownbere.
The Lobster Ponds, which were last used over 50 years ago to store lobster catches for the local fishermen while they awaited buyers to arrive, are large concrete enclosures set into Berehaven Bay.
‘We were made aware of this situation last Friday,’ Castletownbere harbourmaster Cormac McGinley, told The Southern Star.
‘The Lobster Ponds are now private property and we are investigating what seems to be large amounts of building rubble dumped into the ponds,’ he said.
A spokesperson for Cork County Council has also confirmed that a report is being prepared.
However, local resident and director at Friends of the Irish Environment (FIE) Tony Lowes feels that this dumping is yet another government failure when it comes to enforcing the law.
‘While particularly dramatic (and sad), the scale of the dumping at the Lobster Ponds is widespread in Beara with no enforcement and a scoff law attitude – and residents are too scared speak out publicly,’ a clearly angry Mr Lowes said.
He maintains that tens of thousands of tonnes of construction rubble and earthwork with unidentified materials have been dumped filling about two-thirds of these historic ponds.
He added that dumping at the unique tidal structure includes a significant amount of rubble which has been dumped beyond the confines of the Lobster
Ponds directly onto the coastal rocks on the western end.Mr Lowes says that access to the site is via a public road and is the ‘right of way’ to the small picturesque beach
directly adjacent to the site. ‘This beach has been used for generations of local residents for walking and swimming and the access has been impaired by the dumping,’ he said.
‘There are those in the business community in West Cork who still regard the environment as they did 50 years ago – a place to dump their waste,’ he added.