A farmer that pleaded guilty to allowing a polluting discharge from his farm to enter a waterway in the Cloughmills area of Co. Antrim has been fined £1,000 (€1,187), according to Northern Ireland’s Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA).

Drew Forsythe pleaded guilty to the offence at Ballymena Magistrates’ Court today, Wednesday, February 26.

The court was told that on February 7, 2019, a water quality inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of pollution affecting a waterway at Omerbane Lane, Cloughmills.

The inspector observed fungal growth on the bed of the waterway and a smell of silage effluent was detected from the waterway.

DAERA noted that the inspector also discovered silage effluent flowing out from the silo and down the yard towards the silage effluent tank.

The silage effluent tank was full and effluent was flowing from it into a gully and it was seen to enter the waterway.

In accordance with procedures, a statutory tripartite sample was collected and analysed.

The results of the analysis confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

The defendant also received an Offenders Levy of £15.