14/08/2001

Agricultural effluent contaminates Forkhill river

Hundreds of fish have been killed in a County Armagh river in a major environmental disaster caused by farm effluent.

The fish kill was discovered on the Forkhill river near the south Armagh border by a local angler on Monday morning.

Inspectors from the Fisheries Conservancy Board have traced the source of contamination to agricultural land near Forkhill. Deputy chief executive of the board, Brian Finn said that they had taken statutory samples from premises close to Forkhill and that there would be a full investigation into the damage.

He also described 2001 as a disastrous year for fish kills: “We have had over 50 fish kills this year of varying intensity and it has been a bad year in terms of silage effluence.”

The Forkhill river runs south of the border into the Castletown river, which runs through Dundalk in County Louth.

Fisheries inspectors for the north east region of the Republic of Ireland are concerned at the possibility of fish kill spreading and are expected to monitor the situation around the border closely. (AMcE)

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