Community workers, anglers and green groups have called on the Executive to establish a promised public inquiry into a huge illegal dump on the banks of the Faughan.
Enagh Youth Forum, Zero Waste North West, Maydown Community Association, the River Faughan Anglers and Friends of the Earth have claimed that the Executive has turned “a blind eye to the biggest environmental disaster ever to face our community.”
The lobbyists say that despite the Assembly calling on Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan to establish an independent public inquiry into waste disposal in the North West and the rest of Northern Ireland and Mr Durkan seeking the support of his Ministerial colleagues for establishing such an inquiry, there’s been no movement.
They want this to change.
In a joint statement they said: “The March 2014 Assembly motion called on the Minister of the Environment ‘to establish an independent public inquiry into waste disposal in the North West and the rest of Northern Ireland, including the role unauthorised quarries and related planning enforcement issues played in facilitating environmental crime.’
“Six months later, in September 2014, Green MLA Stephen Agnew asked Environment Minister Mark H. Durkan ‘for an update on setting up of a public inquiry into the waste crime in Northern Ireland.’
“Durkan responded: ‘I would seek the support of my Ministerial colleagues for establishing an Inquiry. I am still waiting for the outcomes of this Executive discussion.’
“In other words, six months after the Assembly motion, nothing had been done. And Minister Durkan claims that this was the fault of other parties on the Executive.
“The people of the North West are entitled to know which parties on the Executive have dragged their heels and left local people vulnerable to pollution along the Faughan.
“We want the inquiry agreed in March 2014 to be set up now. The issue hasn’t gone away. And neither has the mountain of waste still leaching into the Faughan.
“We urge all members of the surrounding community and Derry people generally to join us in demanding - A public inquiry now.”