Anger at spike in eco-crime and arson attacks in Newry and Mourne

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Tuesday, May 5th, 2020

Newry MLA Liz Kimmins has branded a recent spike in eco-crime and arson attacks on local woodland and shrubbery as acts of  ‘community vandalism’.

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The Sinn Féin MLA was speaking following a noticeable uptick in deliberate fires started in forested areas and dense shrubbery, marking an almost annual increase in this sort of crime.



Speaking to Newry Times, Liz Kimmins MLA said, “Around this time every year, a small number of vandals take it upon themselves to set our beautiful landscapes and natural heritage ablaze.

“As far as I can understand, this is done to clear areas for grazing or land purchases, essentially in the name of profit.

“This is obscene and destructive behaviour that must be stamped out.



“South Armagh, in particular, is home to a majestic Area of Outstanding Natural Beauty in Ring of Gullion – in the past few days, several peaks within this beautiful mountain range have been set ablaze.

“This is a serious issue,” she warned.

“The destruction and disfigurement of these landscapes isn’t just an act of vandalism against the local community, it is an attack on our climate at a time when we need rapid afforestation to clean our air.

“At a time during a public health emergency when people are encouraged to exercise and stay healthy within a safe distance of their home, these arson attacks are also an attack on the health of our community.



“I urge anyone with information about these attacks to contact the relevant authorities without hesitation,” Kimmins added.


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