Blc landscaping

Blc landscaping

Blc landscaping with headstones from roadside ditches

B2

BLADES, INFORMATION

Sinn Féin North West TD, Ruth Coppinger, has condemned Blaise G. McNamee, whose company, Blc, was fined €1.2m after roads on 17th-century battlefields were dumped and uncovered.

Ms Coppinger said the revelations made by the Sunday Independent “could not be allowed to stand”.

She said the approval process had been bad enough, but this was a further indication of the lack of regulation and the law in relation to historical landscapes.

“The revelation that people were digging up old, empty, neglected, unmarked war graves is not acceptable in any way and must not be allowed to stand,” she said.

Ms Coppinger called for urgent action to establish an urgent Commission of Investigation to get to the bottom of these incidents.

She said the oversight was appalling and outrageous and a regulatory, legislative and inspection regime must be established.

“My impression is that the standards of practice are so loose, and the inspection regime so inadequate, that there is no control over whether the infrastructure works are being carried out properly or that they meet the best practice and the possible standards.

“In my view, it is unacceptable for the High Court to have handed down its judgment in a section 20 action without having the authority to inspect and assess these standards,” Ms Coppinger said.

“It is further clear that an effective and comprehensive regulatory regime, which could see the issuing of conditions of operation, both in the planning system and in relation to infrastructure works, must be established.”

The Fine Gael TD described the revelations in the Sunday Independent as “horrendous” and called for immediate intervention by Government.

“The revelations by the Sunday Independent are appalling and cannot be allowed to stand,” she said.

“There must be an immediate Commission of Investigation to get to the bottom of these incidents. The oversight of these standards of practice is astonishing and outrageous,” Ms Coppinger said.

The politician said it was vital that these standards were brought to the attention of government.

“The oversight is unacceptable, both in relation to planning and infrastructure developments, which are ongoing, and the oversight is also unacceptable in relation to contracts between public bodies and companies such as Blc,” she said.

“The regulations that apply to the planning system, or that may be brought into the planning system, must be rigorously enforced.

“Furthermore, the standards of practice and, if required, a regulatory and inspection regime must be established, to ensure standards are met,” Ms Coppinger said.

This is a personal blog. The views expressed here are the author's own.

Two brothers behind coffin homebuilders Blc have been hit with a record €1.2m fine for illegally dumping waste on ancient battlefields, it has emerged.

Blaise G. McNamee and his brother Michael McNamee are embroiled in a legal case over a sand and gravel quarry in the grounds of Castletownbere in Co Cork.

But Blc has also been under fire for digging up the ancient remains of over 80 unmarked graves from 17th-century battlefields on Inishturk, Onnistel and other sites.

Figures obtained by The Sunday Independent show that the brothers have been hit with a large €1.2m fine for breaking planning laws by digging up ancient unmarked burial grounds from all of the above locations.

The brothers are accused of encroaching on protected historic sites while constructing a sand and gravel quarry on the Co Cork coast.

Their operations have been illegal since the High Court ruled that the pre-1940 sites were of “outstanding national, regional or local importance”.

Blc and the Office of Public Works (OPW) began building the 150-metre sand and gravel works in 2013.

It was supposed to be part of a major civil engineering works that would have seen the rescue of hundreds of millions of tonnes of sediment washed into the harbour each year from Kilmurry’s beach.

In 2015, McNamee, a company director, received a planning permit to start work on the quarry site.

However, the OPW refused to grant a quarry consent as it said it would be an interference with historic rights.

In court papers, it said: “The OPW has reason to believe that the proposed quarry will seriously damage an outstanding national heritage resource and is of such a magnitude that it should not proceed with the construction of the proposed quarry until the heritage issues arising from the proposed quarry have been fully and finally addressed by this office in terms of its positive and negative heritage contribution.”

After the verdict was handed down in May, the brothers began dismantling the existing sand and gravel works.

While the site was marked with small orange signs, the graves in Inishturk had no way of being identified and removed.

Under the terms of the planning permission, Blc and OPW were given permission to excavate up to 350,000 cubic metres of material but local residents said the operations went far beyond this.

At the Cork District Court last week, lawyers representing the parties agreed to drop a legal action in relation to the civil engineering works.

Sinn Féin North West TD, Ruth Coppinger, has condemned Blaise G. McNamee, whose company, Blc, was fined €1.2m after roads on 17th-century battlefields were dumped and uncovered.

Ms Coppinger said the revelations made by the Sunday Independent “could not be allowed to stand”.

She said the approval process had been bad enough, but this was a further indication of the lack of regulation and the law in relation to historical landscapes.

“The oversight was appalling and outrageous and a regulatory, legislative and inspection regime must be established,” she said.


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