A Belfast man who has been holidaying on Lough Erne for the past 10 years says the amount of rubbish being left lying around various jetties in County Fermanagh is “unbelievable.”

Alfie Gilmore has enjoyed boat holidays in England, the Republic of Ireland and the Fermanagh Lakelands for decades. However, in the past two years, he says he has noticed that the problem of rubbish around Lough Erne has worsened.
He contacted The Impartial Reporter this week to highlight a particular problem at Knockninny Quay, where he moors his boat, and the nearby Tiraroe Quay.
“All around the Lough, there’s a huge amount of garbage where bins used to be,” he said. According to Mr. Gilmore, wheelie bins used to be dotted around the Lough until around two years ago, when they were gradually removed.
“At Tiraroe jetty there’s a big pile of bottles, cans and garbage. That’s going to cost a lot of money to clean up. It’s been like that for three weeks,” he said, adding that a picnic table has been lying upside down in the water for a number of months.
“There are signs up asking hire boaters to take their rubbish with them but if someone pays £2-3,000 to hire a boat for two weeks, can they really be expected to have rubbish with them in that small space?” he said, adding: “The Council might say that boaters should return their rubbish to the company they hired the boat off but expecting boaters to take their rubbish around on a boat is crazy.”
He continued: “This is damaging for Fermanagh’s tourism product. The German, Swiss and French boaters are all distraught.”
Mr. Gilmore has access to his car and regularly take trips to the recycle centre at Kinawley.
“It’s got to the stage that it’s unbelievable. People are even dumping on the islands now and a lot of rubbish is ending up in the water,” he claimed.
He said: “Every boater I know is complaining about it.”
A spokesman for Fermanagh and Omagh District Council (FODC) said the 69 jetties listed on the Fermanagh Lakelands website are either privately owned or managed by Waterways Ireland.
He said: “In recent times, there has been a significant increase of fly tipping in the district and in particular bins located near jetty sites. The Council will continue to empty bins that we have provided within the resources we have available. “
He warned: “The dumping of household rubbish at bins is regarded as an offence under the Clean Neighbourhoods Act and will carry a minimum fine of £75 to anyone found guilty. Boat owners are not exempt from this practice and it is a matter for both boat owners and boat hire companies to dispose of their rubbish in an appropriate way.”