Press Release

Monaghan Pollution Court Case

Farmer convicted and ordered to pay over €5,000 for polluting river with silage effluent

Following conviction, Inland Fisheries Ireland appeals to farming community to check that silage pits are “fit for purpose”

A farmer in County Monaghan has been convicted of allowing silage effluent to enter a local river, following a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Mr Thomas McEnaney, a farmer from Ardragh in Carrickmacross who pleaded guilty to charges, was fined €400 and ordered to pay an additional €5,273.15 for costs and expenses.

Sitting at Carrickmacross District Court on May 23rd 2022, Judge Raymond Finnegan convicted Mr McEnaney of a breach of the Fisheries Acts for allowing silage effluent to enter a watercourse.

Silage effluent pollution


Silage effluent pollution

Ailish Keane, a Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland, gave evidence that the silage pit was not fit for purpose when it was inspected as effluent, which is a highly toxic substance, was escaping through a surface water system and into an open watercourse. The silage effluent from Mr McEnaney’s property subsequently polluted a tributary of the Annalee River in the Erne River catchment according to water samples taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Following the conviction, Inland Fisheries Ireland is appealing to the farming and agricultural community to ensure that silage pits are fit for purpose and are regularly checked whilst in use to prevent accidental runoff to rivers and lakes.

Dr. Milton Matthews, Director of the North West River Basin District with Inland Fisheries Ireland commented: “Good water quality status in our rivers and lakes is vital for the preservation of healthy fish stocks and the aquatic habitat. Silage effluent is a highly polluting substance which can have severe and long-term impacts to aquatic ecosystems due to de-oxygenation and nutrient enrichment. Streams, rivers and lakes are particularly prone to any silage effluent discharges which may occur during the summer months when water levels are low which can result in major fish kill events. Regular inspection and maintenance of silage pits and slurry storage facilities is essential to ensure that accidental leaks or overflows are prevented. Inland Fisheries Ireland are appealing to the farming and agricultural community to ensure that silage pits are fit for purpose and are regularly inspected and maintained to ensure Ireland’s water quality, fisheries and aquatic biodiversity are protected.”

Members of the public who wish to report suspected cases of water pollution are encouraged to telephone Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline, which is 0818 34 74 24. The 24-hour hotline is open seven days a week.

Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, has a range of initiatives in place to help the farming community target the improvement of water quality. Further information is available at


For media information:

Sadhbh O’Neill


Inland Fisheries Ireland

E :  

T : 087 1019998


About Inland Fisheries Ireland (

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same (