2 - Environmental Policy

Minutes of Strategic Policy Committee 2 (Environmental Policy) held on Wednesday 18th February, 2009 at 14:15 in The Meeting Room, Environmental Services Section, Cleveragh Business Park, Sligo


  • Councillor Gerry Mullaney.


  • Mr. Brendan Queenan,
  • Councillor Albert Higgins,
  • Councillor Michael Fleming,
  • Councillor Mary Barrett,
  • Ms. Sally Ward,
  • Ms. Kathleen Henry.


  • Ms. Rita McNulty, Director of Service
  • Ms. Eithne Garvin, Administrative Officer
  • Mr. Fineen O’Driscoll, A/Senior Engineer
  • Mr. Paul Hampson, Senior Executive Engineer
  • Ms. Rosie Morrissey, A/Executive Scientist
  • Ms. Mairead Scanlon, Assistant Staff Officer
  • Ms. Olivia Black, A/Assistant Staff Officer
  • Mr. Matthew Byrne, Waste Enforcement Officer
  • Mr. Pete Murtagh, Waste Enforcement Officer
  • Mr. Conall Calleary, Veterinary Officer


  • Councillor Paul Conmy,
  • Councillor Jimmy McGarry.

In the absence of Councillor Jimmy McGarry, Councillor Gerry Mullaney chaired the SPC Meeting.


Proposed by Councillor Albert Higgins
Seconded by Councillor Mary Barrett    

and agreed

“To confirm and adopt Minutes of the SPC Environmental Policy meeting held on 1st October, 2008”.


Councillor Gerry Mullaney welcomed Fineen O’Driscoll to the Environment Section.  He also welcomed the new IFA Rep Kathleen Henry. 

Councillor Mary Barrett asked for Election Posters to be added to today’s Agenda.  Rita McNulty said there would not be enough time to have Bye-Laws done up as the Election is in June.  After a brief discussion it was decided to leave Election Posters off today’s Agenda and put on the Agenda later in the year.  


Rosie Morrissey said they are waiting for the Draft Management Plans to be put on display.  Rita McNulty distributed a booklet ‘Water Matters’ to those present.  Fineen O’Driscoll said the River Basin Plan has been on display since December 2008 until the 22nd June 2009.  There will be consultation/information meetings with the public to discuss plans – dates will be advertised in local papers.


Matthew Byrne gave a presentation on the Remediation of Finisklin Landfill Project.  Matthew said we’re obliged through many mechanisms and could benefit, from carrying out an Environmental Risk Assessment of Finisklin Landfill as in accordance with the associated Code of Practice. Matthew informed the meeting that a successful tender applicant was chosen for carrying out such works. Rita McNulty confirmed that assessment on the project will have to be done (cost approximately €40,000).  Councillor Albert Higgins proposed that the project go ahead and this was seconded by Councillor Mary Barrett.


Pete Murtagh gave a presentation on the Green Waste Facility at Ballisodare.  Pete said one of the requirements from the Connacht Waste Management Plan was to divert Bio-degradable waste away from landfill.  There are only two Local Authorities in the Connacht area with a Green Waste facility.  Sally Ward asked if more advertising of this facility could be done as she knows of people who do not know how to dispose of their garden waste e.g. leaves, head cuttings etc.  Pete Murtagh said thatFiona Kelly, Environmental Awareness Officer, is having trees planted there for National Tree Week and is doing a publicity campaign.  Councillor Albert Higgins proposed that we invite the full Council to view the sight.  Councillor Gerry Mullaney suggested doing this at the April Meeting.  Councillor Michael Fleming enquired about the green waste at Tubbercurry Civic Amenity Site, he was informed by Pete Murtagh that this waste will be going back to Ballisodare. 


Conall Calleary gave an update on the Control of ‘Restricted Breeds’.  Progress is been made and the Councils tenancy agreement now bans these breeds.  It had been hoped that National Legislation would be updated but this has been held up. It is possible for the Council to introduce its own Bye-Laws on the issue.  After a discussion Councillor Albert Higgins said its import to bring in Bye-Laws covering restricted breeds and have a register of owners.  Fineen O’Driscoll said they will meet with our Solicitor in relation to drafting Bye-Laws.  Councillor Michael Fleming mentioned the number of sheep kills over the last while and Conall Calleary replied that it was more a matter of educating the public on control of dogs rather than legislation. 



Councillor Gerry Mullaney raised the issue of signage, particularly for new businesses.  He said the NRA have a policy on signage for National Routes that must be adhered to.  Cllr Albert Higgins said there must be some sort of compromise to meet people’s needs.  Fineen O’Driscoll said that he will contact the NRA and see what their views are and if there is room for flexibility.

Sport and Amenities / River Basin District:

Councillor Albert Higgins requested that a survey be done on sporting and leisure facilities in the River Basin District, as he feels that these facilities should be protected.  Fineen O’Driscoll added that when the Development Plan is up for review it would be the right time to include their views on these amenities.  Rita McNulty said to do a survey on the region would be very labour intensive and could be quite costly, it may be looked at from a tourism point of view.  Matthew Byrne said that Public Meetings are not well attended and could we raise the profile on how the River Basin Project could affect the public.

Clothing Banks:

Sally Ward mentioned the ‘dropping off’ of clothing banks with no contact details and the banks are gone shortly after drop off.  Matthew Byrne said they did not get permission from the Council and the problem is not local, it is nationwide.  Matthew Byrne said that it stems from the high price of used clothes at the moment. Promotion of donating clothing to local Charity Shops might solve the problem and might also reduce the number of door to door collections.

Slurry spreading:

Councillor Albert Higgins mentioned the spreading of slurry.  He said Teagasc, the Council, the Farming organisations should set up some kind of a Committee to monitor when spreading can take place as a set date does not suit local weather conditions.  Fineen O’Driscoll said we will have to look at the legality of it. 

Connacht Waste Management Plan:

Rita McNulty said that the Connacht Waste Management Plan is due to be updated. 


Councillor Michael Fleming said that there’s more knowledge needed on recyclables and waste, as people still do not know enough, maybe the two waste companies could promote it better.  Councillor Michael Fleming mentioned all the unnecessary packaging on goods and asked is there any way it could be reduced.  Matthew Byrne said that it could be achieved by consumer power giving the simple example that people should demand loose fruit and vegetables in shops, and unnecessary packaging. These demands to shops have resulted in changes to packaging.


Councillor Gerry Mullaney enquired about getting the waste truck to go up more side roads to collect waste particularly in the Geevagh area.  Pete Murtagh said for the people in question to contact him and he will look into the matter further.  Pete Murtagh said that a third bin for organic waste will be introduced over the coming months.


The date of the next meeting is Thursday, 14th May 2009 at 3 p.m.


The meeting concluded at 4:05 p.m.


Meeting Date 18/02/2009