Press Release

Inland Fisheries Ireland prosecutes Uisce Éireann for water pollution that killed 100 fish

Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) has secured a prosecution against Uisce Éireann after 40,000 litres of chemical leaked into a stream killing 100 fish.

The incident happened at the Whelan’s Bridge Stream, a tributary of the River Suir in Co Waterford, and caused the death of 100 fish including salmon, trout, lamprey, and eels.

Uisce Éireann was found to have committed water pollution breaches at the Adamstown Water Treatment Plant at Kilmeadan, Co.Waterford, and must now pay more than €7,100 in connection with the incident.

Approximately 40,000 litres of aluminium sulphate – a chemical toxic to fish and aquatic invertebrates - discharged into the stream from storage tanks on the plant site. 

Commenting after the court verdict, Lynda Connor South Eastern River Basin District Director at IFI said: “This outcome highlights IFI’s continued and determined efforts to protect and conserve Ireland's inland fisheries resource.

“Fish kills, such as these, are serious and damaging ecological events. It is critical that Uisce Éireann ensures that adequate systems and processes are in place to prevent any such incident recurring.

: Dead salmon and trout at scene of water pollution incident in Co Waterford

Dead salmon and trout at scene of water pollution incident in Co Waterford

Evidence was given by IFI Fisheries Environmental Officer Oliver McGrath who outlined the facts to the court. 

Waterford District Court imposed a fine of €4,000 on Uisce Éireann, and it was also ordered to pay costs of €3114.60, when the case was finalised on February 26th, 2024.

The defendants were found to have permitted or caused deleterious matter to enter into the waters of the Whelan’s Bridge Stream, contrary to Section 171 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959. 

The pollution incident occurred on June 11th 2023.

On February 16th 2024,  a separate IFI investigation resulted in Uisce Éireann being fined €10,000 in relation to the death of 2,000 fish in Clare in May 2023. 

Members of the public are encouraged to report instances of such as this, along with water pollution, illegal fishing, or habitat destruction to Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential number, 0818 34 74 24.