FUEL SLUDGE CAUSED TRAFFIC HOLD-UPS

6 January 2012 No Comments by The Northern Standard

By PATSY McARDLE

FUEL racketeers along the Mid-Monaghan Border with South Armagh caused some pre-Christmas traffic chaos when they dumped huge consignments of sludge from laundered diesel on a number of routes in South Monaghan, including the N2 Dublin-Derry Road near Carrickmacross prior to Christmas Eve.
Fire services from Carrickmacross and Castleblayney were called out to deal with the emergency posed by the dumping at a number of locations and prevent oil slicks developing which it was feared would pose serious hazards for traffic.
Gardai were forced to temporarily divert traffic at Donaghmoyne, on the N2 about four miles from Carrickmacross, where a 40-foot trailer containing a large consignment of sludge was abandoned on the roadside.
The other illicit dumping of sludge took place on routes in South Monaghan.
An environmental team from Monaghan County Council alerted the gardai and the emergency services after motorists reported that the illicit dumping had taken place late at night or in the early hours.
There were some immediate fears of roads being left in a hazardous state, apart from waterways and farmland being contaminated by the diesel sludge.
The sludge results from the laundering of diesel to remove colouring, so that tax rebated fuel can be sold for a higher commercial fuel price, thus proving a huge money-spinner for the fuel gangs.
Prior to the end of the year the Revenue authorities claimed they had knowledge of a “distribution chain” involving the supply of laundered diesel to outlets in various parts of the country.
It was also claimed the use of the doctored diesel had proved highly damaging to filter units and pumps on diesel engines .
Last year, it emerged, the cost of removing dumped sludge from roads in the border areas cost Monaghan and Louth County Council a sum in excess of €3.5 million.

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