Kildare Fire Forces Evacuations

Some Kildare residents are expected to be evacuated from the underground fire raging at a controversial landfill in Co Kildare.

Today, families living in homes surrounding the dump learned that if the fire cannot be put out they might be evacuated if the blaze worsens.

Concern is mounting over the fire at the 30-metre high illegal rubbish ti, which is proving impossible to be brought under control. More than 1.75m tonnes of waste was illegally deposited at the dump.

The Emergency Protection Agency (EPA) said last night it had asked for the services of a firm of international experts in assessment of landfill fires. A spokesman for the agency said the experts, accompanied by EPA inspectors, will assess the site today to determine the likely extent of the area of below-surface fire and will also provide information to the Fire Service.

The spokesman explained that following from air quality monitoring January 21 and 22, the EPA installed a continuous air-monitoring unit in the Kerdiffstown area yesterday afternoon.

"We are currently calibrating the equipment, setting up communication relays and expect to be getting real time ambient air quality data shortly," he added.

The results of the monitoring are being provided to Kildare Fire Service and the Health Service Executive as they become available.

Meanwhile, local lobby group Clean Air Naas said an undisclosed EPA report exposed "horrific pollution" escaping from the Naas Dump.

The group said that the illegal Kerdiffstown dump, which was closed by the EPA during May 2010, could contain an estimated 50 million litres of the toxic material leachate, which could be freely flowing into the ground each year.

The group said there were no records of what is in the dump, almost no lining system, no gas extraction and no capping system. A spokesman for the group said the amount of pollutant flowing into the ground was equivalent to the amount of raw sewage produced by 100,000 humans being dumped into the ground and will ultimately get into the local drinking water.

Speaking this morning, the spokesman said: "Amazingly the EPA stated there are no hazardous materials in the dump but in the absence of dump records it is impossible to confirm. Clean Air Naas believe everything was dumped in Kerdiffstown.

"Naas dump was a sand and gravel pit. The ground is extremely porous and allows leachate to easily drain into underlying water tables. The rotting waste will gradually pollute our water courses. Most waste in Kerdiffstown was dumped there in the past 5 years and came from mainly Dublin. It will take several decades for it to decompose. As it rots over the coming years the levels of explosive, noxious gases and toxic leachate will increase. There are very serious health implications."


Related Irish News Stories
Click here for the latest headlines.

14 March 2024
Working Families Urged To Explore Childcare Savings Ahead Of Holidays
HM Revenue and Customs (HMRC) has called on working families who have yet to sign up for Tax-Free Childcare to find out how they could save money on their childcare costs in time for the school holidays.
28 May 2010
Controversial Dublin Dump Gets Licence
The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) has granted Finglas council a licence to build a controversial dump near Lusk in north County Dublin. The dump has a 500,000-tonne maximum annual intake for non-hazardous residual waste and an associated public recycling facility.
01 November 2017
Dublin Fire Brigade Responds To 1,100 Calls On Halloween Night
Dublin Fire Brigade has revealed it responded to 1,100 emergency calls during Halloween night. On what is normally the service's busiest night of the year, there were also reports of attacks on fire crews while Dublin Bus was forced to withdraw its service in part of the city.
18 August 2017
Campaign Launched Over Dangers Of Staff Shortages In Dublin Fire Brigade
Trade union SIPTU have launched a public awareness campaign over serious staff shortages in Dublin Fire Brigade and the risk this poses to working firefighters.
05 October 2007
Mountjoy Prison Cell Fire
A fire broke out in a cell at Dublin's Mountjoy Prison on Thursday night, according to reports. It is understood that a prisoner had set fire to a cell. However, it is believed that prison staff and fire crews were able to contain the fire quickly. No-one was injured in the incident.