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Compensation order against farmer after slurry pollution caused fish kill

Loughs Agency confirmed over 500 dead eels, trout and other fish

A Co Armagh farmer has been after more than 500 eels, trout and other fish were killed after a river was polluted.

Sean Magill, from Quarter Road, Camlough, was fined £500, and ordered to pay an Offenders Levy of £15 and a Compensation Order for £1,750 for fish kill costs to be paid to the Loughs Agency.

The sentence was imposed at Newry Magistrates Court on Monday for making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

On January 23, 2014, Water Quality Inspectors, acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA), inspected a waterway at Millvale, Bessbrook, and observed the waterway to be brown in colour and foaming.

The source of the polluting discharge was traced to a farm at Divernagh Road, Bessbrook.

The owner of the farm was on holiday.

But Sean Magill, without the permission of the farm owner, had accessed the slurry tanks to draw off slurry. The valves at the slurry tank had been left open.

An inspection of the waterway by officers from the Loughs Agency confirmed 582 dead eels, trout and other fish up to five miles downstream.

Samples taken at the time of the incident confirmed that the discharge contained poisonous, noxious or polluting matter which was potentially harmful to fish life in the receiving waterway.

Anyone wishing to report a pollution incident can call the 24-hour Water Pollution Hotline on 0800 80 70 60.

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