The Minister for the Environment and Transport, Eamon Ryan needs to introduce a standardised process to deal with the issue of abandoned vehicles littering Ireland’s towns and villages, a Fine Gael Senator said.
Senator Regina Doherty, Fine Gael’s Seanad Spokesperson on Transport, said: “Abandoned cars lie idle in housing estates, on backroads and byways across the country. They are an environmental and financial scourge; a cost to our pockets and a cost to our planet.
“They are also causing no end of issues for local residents, in terms of being an eyesore but also due to being a health and safety hazard, and – in a case I dealt with recently – impeding access for those with mobility issues.
“This is not a new issue; we’ve been talking about it for years, yet there isn’t agreement on who should be dealing with it. For example, my office recently reported a car abandoned on a street in Skerries to Fingal County Council. The Council essentially told me it was the responsibility of the Gardaí; when I called the Gardaí, they referred me back to the Council. There’s no process there. It’s not good enough.
“Once something is eventually done – and it’s rarely a quick process – the vehicle generally needs to be scrapped. There is a financial cost involved in this, but there is certainly an environmental cost too.
“An estimated 118,867 scrap vehicles were treated in Ireland in 2020, for example, equating to an estimated 126,000 tonnes of waste. Scrapping cars also has a negative impact in terms of both carbon emissions and energy consumption. While environmental regulations now prevent this in Ireland, in some jurisdictions there have cases of fluids from scrap vehicles spilling and even contaminating water supply.
“What I’m calling for is a ‘Venn diagram’ approach, where there is a protocol introduced by the State that would facilitate direct co-operation between An Garda Síochána and local authorities.
“Things ought to run far smoother than they do at present and we need to do better”, concluded Senator Doherty.