Quarry Operator fails to attend court and is fined €3,000 for polluting and damaging spawning beds in Cork

Lagan Materials Ltd., Bweeng, Mallow County Cork, now trading as Breedon Ireland, wwas convicted and fined €3,000 at Mallow District Court on Monday 9 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 12 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.

Photo: Discolouration caused by the pollution in the Shinagh stream, a tributary which flows into the Clydagh river (photo taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland staff)