Press Release

Sligo County Council to pay almost €2,600 in fines and costs for damage to salmon habitat

Thursday, February 29th 2024: Inland Fisheries Ireland has secured a conviction against Sligo County  Council for damage caused to a tributary of a river linked to a Special Area of Conservation.

The incident happened at Carraun, Corballa, Co Sligo on a stream which flows into the Killala Bay/Moy Estuary Special Area of Conservation.

damage to salmon habitat

It involved machinery, commissioned by the council, driving through a river bed, while carrying out road improvement works nearby.

The machinery crossed the stream a number of times, despite previous instructions from Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) to use an alternative route.

Sligo County Council was fined €250, must pay costs of €1,845, and has to pay €500 to IFI in respect of the expense of assessing restorative works. 

Mary Walsh, Director of IFI’s Western River Basin District, Ballina, said: “This work was overseen by the Council, a large public body, and the habitat damage caused by machinery traversing the stream should never have taken place. 

“IFI will continue to prosecute such illegal activity in fulfilment of our remit to protect and conserve Ireland's important inland fisheries resource."

Prior to the commencement of proposed council works, consultation took place between an IFI Senior Environmental Officer and a representative from Sligo County Council during which IFI clearly outlined the sensitivity of the watercourse on the site, and of the pollution mitigation measures required. 

Despite this, damage was done to the river bed and the banks of a tributary stream of the Newtown River in April 2023.

The case was heard at Sligo District Court on February 6th 2024.

Mary Walsh continued: "Public bodies, contractors and landowners need to seek all necessary and relevant information from Inland Fisheries Ireland, before carrying out any works near, or on, a watercourse. 

“IFI encourage members of the public to report incidents such as this, and those of water pollution, fish kills, and illegal fishing to its 24/7 phone number, 0818 34 74 24.”

Landowners can refer to further guidance on minding Ireland’s watercourses.