Northern Ireland

GAA figures attend protest over odour concerns at Tyrone mushroom plant

Local council and NIEA accused of lack of action over foul smell

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd March 2024


2nd March 2024
 Presseye.com
Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms due to the pungent smell coming from their factory.
Mandatory Credit  Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
Cabra stink protest Some of those who attended a protest outside compost plant in Co Tyrone on Saturday 2nd March 2024 Presseye.com Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms due to the pungent smell coming from their factory. Mandatory Credit Presseye/Stephen Hamilton (Presseye/Stephen Hamilton/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton)

Senior GAA figures were among those who took part in a weekend protest to highlight concerns over a foul factory odour in a rural Co Tyrone.

Hundreds of people took part in the protest at Northway Mushrooms, between Dungannon an Ballygawley, which was organised by Cabragh Concerned Residents Association (CCRA).

Locals says strong odours from the plant, which turns poultry litter into mushroom compost, is affecting their physical and mental health.



Concerned residents have accused Mid Ulster District Council and the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) of a “lack of action” in dealing with their complaints about the foul smell.

It is claimed that at times the odour is so bad children attending a local primary school have been removed from the playground while training at a local GAA club, Killeeshil St Mary’s, has been postponed.

Among those who spoke at Saturday’s protest was Tyrone GAA chairman Martin Sludden and Killeeshil club chairman Colm Rafferty.

“The people of Cabragh and Killeeshil, we won’t accept this and we won’t go away because we live here and we will fight you until it is over,” he told those in attendance.

Speaking to the Irish News, CCRA spokeswoman Maria Nugent said local people are fed up being ignored.

“This has been going on for five years and there’s no effort to get something done,” she said.

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd March 2024


2nd March 2024
 Presseye.com
Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms due to the pungent smell coming from their factory.
Mandatory Credit  Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms. Picture by Presseye/Stephen Hamilton (Presseye/Stephen Hamilton/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton)

Ms Nugent explained that “because it’s a smell nuisance it’s very hard to get the evidence.”

“It’s our community that’s living here, the people who own the factory do not live nearby and it’s not having any impact on them,” she said.

“The fight will go on, we have been fighting for five years.”

Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd March 2024


2nd March 2024
 Presseye.com
Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms due to the pungent smell coming from their factory.
Mandatory Credit  Presseye/Stephen Hamilton
Cabra stink protest Press Eye - Belfast - Northern Ireland - 2nd March 2024 2nd March 2024 Presseye.com Members of the Cabragh concerned resident group pictured at a demonstration against Northwway Mushrooms due to the pungent smell coming from their factory. Mandatory Credit Presseye/Stephen Hamilton (Presseye/Stephen Hamilton/Presseye/Stephen Hamilton)

Independent republican councillor Kevin McElvogue said a resolution needs to be found.

“It needs to be sorted,” he said.

“It’s not fair on the people living there all their lives and the next things that starts.

“It’s affecting their quality of life.

“It can’t keep going on the way it is.”

Northway Mushrooms were contacted.

However, the firm previously said its plant is “operated to the highest standards” and regulated by NIEA, whose staff carry out “regular, unannounced inspections” to ensure compliance.

It described its facility as “world class” and “supports jobs throughout the island of Ireland”.

NIEA has said it “continues to engage with local stakeholders about their concerns” while Mid Ulster District Council said it has been working with the residents regarding its investigation of potential breaches of environmental guidelines.