Slurry discharge costs Cork dairy farmer €8,000

A Co. Cork farmer was fined €8,000 at Midleton District Court on Thursday, November 12, following a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland, the authority has confirmed.

The man in question pleaded guilty before Judge Patricia Harney to polluting the Douglas River at Garryduff, Dungourney, Co. Cork, in April 2018.

The court heard than an initial discharge of slurry from his farmyard was followed by further reoccurrences, resulting in a number of court adjournments and hearings to allow completion of court directed remedial works.

Inland Fisheries Ireland gave evidence that the river had been severely polluted by the slurry discharges which had rendered the riverine habitat inaccessible to spawning trout and salmon.

Evidence was also given that the man was running a large farm with a dairy herd in excess of 1,000 and that he had invested significantly in improving his yard facilities since the initial incident.

Judge Harney convicted the man under Section 171 (1) of the Fisheries Consolidation Act 1959 and Section 3 (1) of The Local Government Water Pollution Act 1977, awarding full costs and expenses of €8,139 to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

While noting the remedial works undertaken by the farmer, Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said:

“Livestock manure and other organic fertilisers, effluents and soiled water have the potential to cause devastating effects on our fisheries resource.

Good farmyard management and using preventative measures helps stop accidental discharges of polluting substances and protects the local environment which will have a significant and lasting positive impact on valuable wild fish populations and general wellbeing in an area.

“I urge the farming community to remain vigilant to the risk of pollution from yards and slurry tanks.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents of water pollution, fish kills and illegal fishing on: 1890-347424; or 1890 FISH 24,” Long concluded.