Leave taxi drivers be and go after illegal border dumpers

People Before Profit's, Eamonn McCann.
People Before Profit's, Eamonn McCann.

Eamonn McCann says the authorities should leave cross-border taxi-drivers alone and concentrate on illegal dumpers he believes are trucking waste from Londonderry to Donegal under their noses.

He made the comment after the Sentinel reported how taxi-drivers, wedding car and limousine operators and bus firms in Londonderry are being asked to choose between making a living and breaking the law thanks to the border.

Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan recently acknowledged honest hard-working taxi-drivers are already being forced into de facto banditry just because they are based in a border town.

“I believe, a blind eye has been turned by the authorities on both sides of the border to cross-border taxi journeys,” he said.

Mr McCann responded: “And so they should be turning a blind eye. They should have better things to do than harassing Derry taxi drivers - harassing illegal dumpers trucking waste from Derry over the border and dumping it in Donegal, for example.

“The cross-border dumping has been carried out in broad daylight. The authorities on both sides of the border know all about it. Mark H’s Department is one of these authorities. But we can get no answer from any of them as to how or why this prolonged illegality has been allowed to happen.

“Taxi drivers are threatened with legal repercussions - while the illegal dumpers continue on their merry way.

“This is the cross-border dimension of the scandal of the Maydown/Campsie/Strathfoyle area having become the site of the biggest illegal dump in Europe - with serious implications for the health of local residents.

“People Before Profit will be maintaining a focus on this scandal through the election campaign. If the voters decide to put me into the Assembly, I’ll get the answers which the people should have had long ago.”