Gortnaghey stink is ‘intolerable’ - resident

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A Gortnaghey resident has claimed her family have been “imprisoned” in their home because of the nauseating stench from sewage sludge being spread nearby.

The woman said this past two weeks have been a nightmare because of the smell. She said her child, who has asthma, has been having serious breathing difficulties, and the family have been forced to stay indoors because of the disgusting stench.

“It has been absolutely awful. My child has asthma and the pong was overcoming him. The smell was getting into his chest. He could barely breathe,” said the resident, who didn’t want to be named.

She added that clothes that have been washed and put out to dry have had to be re-washed because of the powerful odour. They’ve also been forced to keep windows shut.

“From our point of view we are not being allowed to enjoy our free time. This smell is keeping us imprisoned in our house. Even now, whatever way the wind blows we still get it. It’s unbearable. We can take the smells that come from farms, like slurry, but this is beyond a joke.”

A Council spokesperson said their Environmental Health Department received a complaint from a member of the public last Friday regarding concerns over the application of the sewage sludge onto land.

“The application of sewage sludge onto land is regulated by the NIEA Agricultural Regulations Team who are based in Lisburn,” said a spokesperson. “The Environmental Health Department referred the matter to the appropriate Agency and an officer from the Agricultural Relations Team visited the area that same day.”

East Derry MLA, Cathal O’hOisin said: “This has been ongoing for some time now and it seems the Limavady area has been singled out for the storage and useage of this material from all over. This is the by-product of the waste treament process and I have experienced it here locally and the stench on days is totally intolerable. So I sympathise entirely with those who live in the proximity of where this material is stored or used. We understand it is a free fertiliser for farmers and other business users, but there must be a treatment alternative to the current practice which would alleviate the smells and inconvenience to local people.”