Illegal Lough Foyle sea defences involved 20,000 tyres

Some of the tyres used in the illegal sea defences constructed along a portion of the banks of the Foyle. Photo: DoE
Some of the tyres used in the illegal sea defences constructed along a portion of the banks of the Foyle. Photo: DoE
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A Limavady man has received a suspended jail sentence relating to his involvement in the unauthorised construction of sea defences at Lough Foyle, which a court has heard involved using approximately 20,000 waste tyres.

Gregory Allen (43) of Seacoast Road, Bellarena, Limavady and David McCullough (68) of Old Antrim Road, Ballymena were each given suspended sentences at Limavady Magistrate’s Court on Wednesday.

A DoE photo shows some of the tyres used in the illegal sea defences constructed along a portion of the banks of the Foyle.

A DoE photo shows some of the tyres used in the illegal sea defences constructed along a portion of the banks of the Foyle.

Gregory Allen pleaded guilty to two waste charges under The Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 and one marine charge under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, for which he was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years.

David McCullough pleaded guilty to one waste charge under The Waste and Contaminated Land (Northern Ireland) Order 1997 and one marine charge under the Marine and Coastal Access Act 2009, for which he was given a four month prison sentence, suspended for two years, on each charge.

The offences related to the unauthorised construction of sea defences, using approximately 20,000 waste tyres, (which were either buried or resting adjacent to the shoreline of Lough Foyle) at a site owned by Mr Allen, and rented by Mr McCullough, at Seacoast Road, Bellarena.

The site, visited on 19 March 2014 by officers of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), did not have a licence from the Department of the Environment to keep controlled waste or use any materials as sea defences.

A formal notice to remove the waste sent to Mr Allen was not complied with.

District Judge Liam McNally told both defendants they were very serious offences and they had come as close as anyone to a custodial sentence for this type of offence.