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Farmer convicted and ordered to pay over €5,000 for polluting river with silage effluent


Following conviction, Inland Fisheries Ireland appeals to farming community to check that silage pits are “fit for purpose”

A farmer in County Monaghan has been convicted of allowing silage effluent to enter a local river, following a prosecution taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Mr Thomas McEnaney, a farmer from Ardragh in Carrickmacross who pleaded guilty to charges, was fined €400 and ordered to pay an additional €5,273.15 for costs and expenses.

Sitting at Carrickmacross District Court on May 23rd 2022, Judge Raymond Finnegan convicted Mr McEnaney of a breach of the Fisheries Acts for allowing silage effluent to enter a watercourse.

Picture showing effluent, a highly toxic substance, flowing into a stream

Ailish Keane, a Senior Fisheries Environmental Officer with Inland Fisheries Ireland, gave evidence that the silage pit was not fit for purpose when it was inspected as effluent, which is a highly toxic substance, was escaping through a surface water system and into an open watercourse. The silage effluent from Mr McEnaney’s property subsequently polluted a tributary of the Annalee River in the Erne River catchment according to water samples taken by Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Following the conviction, Inland Fisheries Ireland is appealing to the farming and agricultural community to ensure that silage pits are fit for purpose and are regularly checked whilst in use to prevent accidental runoff to rivers and lakes.

Members of the public who wish to report suspected cases of water pollution are encouraged to telephone Inland Fisheries Ireland’s confidential hotline, which is 0818 34 74 24. The 24-hour hotline is open seven days a week.

Teagasc, the Agriculture and Food Development Authority, has a range of initiatives in place to help the farming community target the improvement of water quality. Further information is available at https://www.teagasc.ie/environment/