Dismay over rubbish and burnt out car dumped into stream

By Mary Dennehy

THE new year didn’t ring in positively for the community living nearby one stretch of the Whitestown stream, or the wildlife that this vital waterway supports.

These photographs were taken by a local volunteer during a visit to the Whitestown stream on Sunday morning, January 3, as it flows between Blessington Road and Jobstown Road.

Whitestown stream car 1

A car burnt out and driven into Whitestown Stream

Living in Firhouse, Wladek Gaj, who volunteers with Tallaght Litter Mugs and Dodder Action, had only visited this stretch of stream 10 days earlier.

Speaking with The Echo this week, Wladek’s dismay over the state of the local waterway and its environs was evident, and the impact it has on residents.

“It’s just so upsetting, people have to live there”, he told The Echo.

“There’s bags of used nappies. glass... it looks like a no-man’s land.

“I really feel for the majority of the people who have to put up with this.

Whitestown stream burnt rubbish and bottles 1

Burnt rubbish and bottles dumped in the stream

“It also impacts on people’s mental health, it’s not great to be seeing your local landscape like this.”

Wladek, who has been involved in regular group clean-ups along the full length of the Whitestown Stream, said: “It’s upsetting as well for the local environment.

“We know that further down that stream is a fish population, a population of small fish that kingfishers, egrets and herons feed on.

ipiccy imagewhitestown1 1

Household waste and rubbish dumped at the Whitestown Stream which has a huge impact on the environment

“Every time a burnt car ends up in the stream, there’s oil, anti-freeze, petrol all flowing down the stream.

 “It’s just so upsetting.”

Wladek, who used to live in Fettercairn, has appealed to South Dublin County Council to examine sealing off the area, which lies between the Blessington Road and Jobstown Road, in an effort to keep cars out.

He has also highlighted issues around the dumping of household waste in the environs of the stream, rubbish which Wladek says eventually makes its way into the water.

When contacted by The Echo on Tusday, a spokeserson for South Dublin County Council said: “As soon as the council became aware of the burnt out car and illegal dumping at various locations at this part of the Whitestown Stream, arrangements have been put in place to have the car removed and the illegally dumped rubbish taken away.

“The council’s Waste Enforcement Section will continue to work with the local community to improve the environment in the vicinity of the stream.”

By the time, The Echo went to print on Wednesday, the car had been removed.

In a comment to The Echo, Independent councillor Alan Edge said: “I reported this matter on Monday and I want to thank the council for the speed of their response in this case and similar cases I’ve reported.

“I’m aware that their enforcement teams are working hard to find new methods of curbing illegal dumping in this area and elsewhere, including by preventing vehicular access.

“A big debt of gratitude is also owed to the amazing clean-up volunteers who share the dismay of local residents that this problem persists.

“I hope for the sake of the environment and local people that a concerted effort on behalf of the local authority, residents and volunteer groups as well as the Gardai will eventually produce results.”

Wladek has encouraged any members of the community who would like to work alongside the Tallaght Litter Mugs and council in protecting their local environment to message the Tallaght Litter Mugs Facebook page.

Due to current restrictions, all group clean-ups are suspended but volunteers will be back out in communities once it is safe to do so.

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