The Department of Environment, Climate and Communications has been asked to investigate the stability of chemical weapons dumped off the coast of Donegal.
Hundreds of barrels of hazardous waste have been reported on the seabed off Tory Island. The waste was allegedly dumped by the British Government at the end of the Second World War.
A 2010 report into the matter stated that there were five separate dumps off the coast of Donegal, each with dangerous and potentially lethal substances such as mustard gas and phosphorous.
Pearse Doherty TD told the Dáil yesterday that “deeply disturbing” accounts from divers describe a seabed littered with black drums with skull and crossbones signage on them off Tory.
“The reality is that this could be seriously dangerous for inhabitants of this area. The people of west Donegal have raised concerns about the nature of these chemicals and the risk to inhabitants, sea life and the environment,” Deputy Doherty said.
Deputy Doherty commented that wider debate should take place on concerns in west Donegal and other similar concerns. A report containing comprehensive analysis on the issue was due to be published in 2000, but despite numerous calls to examine the matter, Doherty said that no action was taken.
Deputy Doherty said there are legitimate concerns about the dumps: “Will the Department look at the stability of these chemical weapons which, in some cases, were dumped nearly 100 years ago? Are they still safe? What is in them? How large are they? Is it okay to leave them on our seabed?”