Top meeting sheds no light on foul odour

Sinn F�in MLA John O'Dowd , Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley and Councillor Fergal Lennon have met with Water Service, the Environmental Agency, and contractors and staff at the Ballynacor Waste Treatment site
Sinn F�in MLA John O'Dowd , Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley and Councillor Fergal Lennon have met with Water Service, the Environmental Agency, and contractors and staff at the Ballynacor Waste Treatment site

Calls to step up a probe into a foul odour at Derrymacash have been made by Sinn Féin after a high-powered meeting shed no light on its source.

A delegation from the party, including MLA John O’Dowd, Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley and Councillor Fergal Lennon, met with Water Service, the Environmental Agency, and contractors and staff at the Ballynacor Waste Treatment site to discuss the noxious stench which is present at times in the Derrymacash area.

Deputy Mayor Catherine Seeley said: “Today’s meeting was to raise the concerns of the many residents who have been in contact with us about the obnoxious odour which is present in the area and at times penetrates people’s homes. We also wanted to find the source of the smell and an answer as to how it can be stopped.

“We listened carefully to the contractors at the Ballynacor site, who are currently excavating lagoons and restoring the land. They strenuously deny their activities are responsible for the odour and stressed the mitigating actions they are taking to suppress odours at the site. Their work should be complete by the end of August or early September.

“We also closely questioned the Environmental Agency about their role, both in terms of monitoring the work going on at the site and beyond its parameter. The Agency were unable to find the source of the smell and were confident that all measures were being adhered to at the Water Treatment Centre.”

The deputy mayor said: “While the meeting was informative, the source of the smell remains unresolved. We urged the Environmental Agency to step up their investigations in the locality to establish the source, and pointed out that the odour is an environmental nuisance, affecting the quality of local people’s lives.

“We will continue to explore how this matter can be brought to a satisfactory resolution, and will be speaking to other agencies to explore other possible causes of the odour.”