Belfast Telegraph

Fuel gang pour toxins into water

By Jim Cusack

Republican fuel smugglers are pumping massively toxic waste linked to cancers and abnormalities in unborn babies straight into water supplies.

Evidence has been found of carcinogenic waste flowing from an illegal fuel plant in south Armagh into Lough Muckno, Lough Ross and the Fane River - which is the main reservoir for the whole of Dundalk, Co Louth.

A sample of water taken by last week was shown to contain 8,000 times more chemical pollution than clean drinking water.

The sample, taken from directly behind the plant, one of dozens used by paramilitary smugglers in south Armagh, is also 400 times over the maximum chemical content of waste set by the European Union.

Around 40,000 people living in Dundalk - plus another 8,000 in the Crossmaglen area - are drinking water from the system that is being poisoned by the fuel launderers.

The gang that runs the plant pumping out toxins into the drinking water system includes IRA men who were questioned by gardai in relation to the murder of Paul Quinn (21), an innocent man who was beaten to death after a row with the gang leader in October 2007.

Environment Minister, Mark H Durkan described the republican gang's polluting activities in south Armagh as an "environmental disaster".

"Fuel laundering and the reckless dumping of the highly toxic waste products is totally irresponsible and very dangerous," he said.

He added: "It harms communities on a number of levels and shows a total disregard for the environment on which we all depend on for our quality of life and livelihoods."

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