Elderly Culmore couple have noticed pollution increase

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An elderly couple who live a couple of hundred metres across the Foyle from the most industrialised part of Londonderry believe pollution has increased in recent years and don’t know the provenance of a “light brown dust” that periodically coats houses and cars around Culmore Point.

John and Margaret Clark, who live in a row of cottages directly across the Foyle from Lisahally, have called for the immediate publication of an ‘Industrial facilities: health impact study,’ which was completed last year but wasn’t published, after Foyle Port’s lawyers wrote to Derry City and Strabane District Council challenging its contents.

A draft copy of the report, which was produced by Ben Cave Associates Ltd. and has been seen by the Sentinel, was sympathetic to community narratives around pollution and recommended adoption of the “precautionary principle” with regard to future development in the area.

Mrs Clarke has called for the report to be published at last.

“We have lived with pollution here for more than 40 years, but there definitely has been an increase recently,” she said.

“We also got the coal dust which was from the ships coming in to the Port, but now we are also getting a light brown dust which no one is quite sure what is causing it.

“This falls on the houses and cars and, of course, people living here and also breathing this dust in.

“We have complained about this for many, many years but nothing seems to be done.”

Mr Clarke said people living in the area have right to know what is in the health impact study.

“Everyone living in Culmore and the other areas affected by this industrial activity has a right to know what is in that report,” he said.