Litter Urlaur Abbey
LITTERING AT MAYO BEAUTY SPOT IS “DISRESPECTFUL AND APPALLING”
SATURDAY, MAY 30, 2020 – Mayo News
A local councillor has described the littering at Urlaur Lake in East Mayo as “blatant disrespect to both the living and the dead.”
Pictures emerged on social media on Friday evening of empty bottles and cans, bags full of rubbish and other bits of debris discarded around the Abbey, the adjoining cemetery and the lake’s shoreline.
Sarah Grennan, who posted the pictures to Facebook, commented: “What an absolute shame and disgrace it is to walk to our local lake and graveyard and see the state it has been left in!”
Kilkelly-based Fianna Fail councillor John Caulfied said that he had been made aware of the problem and asked those responsible to have more respect for the area.
“This is a cemetery, but it’s also a tourist attraction,” he said. “You have youngsters going down there holding drinking parties in it and disposing of their cans and bottles with no regard for the area.”
The lake is also the source of drinking water for the local area under the Kilmovee/Urlaur Group Water Scheme.
“I’m going to see if bins can be put there, although if we do that, we’re almost encouraging drinking parties. What’s the answer to it? I don’t know, other than to put up more No Dumping signs,” continued Cllr Caulfield.
The Gardaí have been made aware of the issue and are understood to have visited the lake to break-up the so-called ‘drinking parties’ during this week’s good weather.
Cllr Caulfield also highlighted the risk of drowning or other serious injuries while people are consuming alcohol near open water.
“I’m appalled at it really. I’d ask people not to do it in the future. There’s a danger as well with people drinking in those locations – it’s beside the lake, it’s high risk.”
The historic Abbey, which traces its roots back to a monastic settlement founded in 1430 by Dominicans monks, has traditionally been one of the most popular local visiting spots for families during the summer.
However, concerns have been expressed that anti-social behaviour and flagrant littering may deter many East Mayo residents from visiting the Abbey and the lake going forward. Cllr Caulfield said the issue of littering and dumping has become more prevalent around the county generally in recent months.
“Littering is widespread at the moment and there’s a power of dumping being done through the lockdown. Stuff has been dumped all over the place. It’s an absolute disgrace and it will have to be addressed,” he said.