Lagan Materials Ltd., Bweeng, Mallow Co. Cork, now trading as Breedon Ireland, were convicted and fined €3,000 at Mallow District Court on Monday 9th of January 2023 following a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland.
The defendants did not appear before the Court and Judge Joanne Carroll expressed surprise and disappointment at their absence. After hearing evidence from Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer Andrew Gillespie, Judge Carroll convicted the quarry operator under Section 173 (1)(d) of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 and Section 3(1) of the Local Government (Water Pollution) Act 1977 for allowing a discharge to the Clydagh river in the townland of Carrigcleena, Bweeng, Mallow on the 12th of November 2021.
The Clydagh river is an important nursery habitat and tributary of the Munster Blackwater. Convictions were also recorded and taken into consideration in relation to two further charges under Sections 171(1) and 173(1)(c) of the 1959 Act.
Sean Long, Director of the South-Western River Basin District (SWRBD) at Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomed the conviction, noting that salmonid habitats are incredibly sensitive and urged quarry operators to take all measures to minimise the risk of harmful discharges to waters. Adding that “while the overall level of compliance is high, Fisheries Environmental Officers in the South-West detected 99 incidents of habitat and water quality infringement in 2022 and every incident is one too many.
Inland Fisheries Ireland has a confidential 24-hour hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing by calling 0818 34 74 24.”
For more information on Inland Fisheries Ireland, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.
Discolouration caused by the pollution in the Shinagh stream, a tributary which flows into the Clydagh river (photo taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland staff)
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About Inland Fisheries Ireland (www.fisheriesireland.ie)
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.