Sinn Féin’s Chris Hazzard MP has told Warrenpoint Harbour Authority that “public patience has run out” with their failure to eradicate foul smells emanating from the Port.
The South Down MP was in the Port meeting Senior Management alongside party colleagues Sinéad Ennis MLA, and Cllr Mickey Ruane following a growing number of complaints in the last few weeks.
Following the meeting, Mr Hazzard said: “It is clear that despite all the assurances that were provided in the summer, the Harbour Authority have not yet found a permanent solution to this unpleasant issue.
“Our local community, including many nearby businesses were pragmatic and patient in allowing the Harbour Authority space and time to address this issue in the summer. However we are now just a few weeks out from Christmas and again we are experiencing intermitting foul smells coming from the Port.
“This is simply not good enough, and today I made it clear that public patience has now run out. The public rightly expect the Harbour Authority to give this issue the focus, attention, and resources that it requires in order to find a permanent solution urgently.
“It is positive that Warrenpoint Harbour Authority will now establish an independent investigation into this issue; with a full, evidence based report set to be finalised within a few weeks. In order to rebuild trust and confidence with the local community, it is vital that this report is made available to the public as soon as possible.
“I also welcome the fact that Warrenpoint Harbour Authority will soon acquire the services of an Environmental Officer; evidently a position of significant importance at a site such as Warrenpoint Port. Indeed the hitherto absence of such expertise unfortunately speaks volumes.
Mr Hazzard concluded:
“Following our meeting today I am sure that Warrenpoint Harbour Authority have been left in no doubt that public patience has now run out.
“Their failure to listen; to communicate effectively; and to permanently eradicate this problem is not good enough. The people of Warrenpoint are now clearly saying ‘enough is enough’ and they must respond accordingly.”