Derry City & Strabane District Council is to write to the Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) over a spillage of animal parts that, according to one councillor, caused motorists’ car tyres to slip on blood spilled over the local roads earlier this month.
Independent Alderman Maurice Devenney raised the matter of “the spillage of animal body parts and sewage” along long stretches of the A5 and the A2 on July 11.
Ald. Devenney complained that animal detritus and other waste reportedly spilled from a transporting vehicle the “whole way from Omagh to Maydown”.
The independent unionist councillor said he understood that this type of waste normally had to be carried in sealed containers under licence and wanted to know how the waste managed to escape onto the public highways.
Ald. Devenney proposed that the Council write to DAERA highlighting councillors’ health and safety concerns and asking it to review the incident. He said it was unfortunate that the spillage occurred in the run up to several landmark events in the city, including the Foyle Maritime Festival, the Foyle Cup and the Orange Order’s Twelfth celebrations.
He described the odour that greeted tens of thousands of visitors making their way to the city that week as “terrible”.
However, he praised the Council’s Head of Environment, Conor Canning, and its Director of Business and Culture, Stephen Gillespie, and their staffs, for their swift response to the incident.
Independent councillor, Paul Gallagher said he had heard reports of cars losing traction in the Strabane area due to blood having spilled from the vehicle suspected of involvement in the incident.
Colr. Gallagher, however, cautioned against apportioning blame until the Council was fully aware of the full facts of exactly what happened.
Acknowledging the accident as a “serious incident”, Colr. Gallagher, nonetheless, observed it was not clear who, if anyone, was at fault in this case.
The Mayor, Colr. John Boyle, agreed that this was wise counsel while the incident was still under review.
Karen Phillips, the Council’s Director of Environment and Regeneration thanked Ald. Devenney for his acknowledgment of the efforts of her colleagues, Messrs. Canning and Gillespie and agreed to write to DAERA about the incident and report back to the Council’s Environment and Regeneration Committee following the Council’s summer recess.