An Independent Mid Ulster councillor has called for an all-Ireland approach to save Lough Neagh, which has been blighted by toxic blue-green algae since last June.
Dan Kerr, who represents Torrent DEA, feels strongly that the lough has an all-Ireland dimension, in that it is linked to cross-border waterways such as River Blackwater.
Responding to correspondence from Southern body, the Environment Protection Agency (EPA), councillor Kerr stated: “I would like to express my huge disappointment received from the Environment Protection Agency regarding [their] attitude towards Lough Neagh.
“I believe an all-Ireland strategy is needed to try and deal with the several issues that are affecting Lough Neagh locally.”
He continued: “I believe partition is also one of the symptoms of what is happening in Lough Neagh, so I would just like to propose that [we] respond to the EPA and outline the reasoning [as to why] there needs to be an all all-Ireland strategy to deal with the issues that are happening to the the largest freshwater lake in the island of Ireland.”
The proposal was seconded by Independent councillor, Barry Monteith.
In correspondence to Mid Ulster District Council Chairman, councillor Dominic Molloy at the end of November, an EPA representative wrote: “I refer to your correspondence of October 2, 2023, in relation to water quality in Lough Neagh.
“As Lough Neagh is wholly situated in Northern Ireland the Environmental Protection Agency does not have a role in monitoring or assessing water quality in the lake.
“The Northern Ireland Environment Agency may be able to assist you.”