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Newry Canal oil spill culprits not yet named but NIEA following ‘a definite line of enquiry’

The oil spill clearly visible on Newry Canal. Photo: Lisdrumgullion News
The oil spill clearly visible on Newry Canal. Photo: Lisdrumgullion News

An Executive agency investigation in to a damaging oil spill of Newry Canal is yet to identify those responsible for the pollution almost half a year in to enquiries.

The leak into one of the oldest canal ways in Europe exposed wildlife and water species to contamination for over a week in mid March.

Newry, Mourne and Down District Council (NMDDC) liaised with the Northern Ireland Environmental Agency (NIEA) with an investigation launched.

A NIEA spokesperson has updated its progress, saying: “NIEA Water Quality Inspectors were deployed to the area immediately to carry out an investigation and to determine the environmental impact.

“The presence of oil was confirmed by NIEA and absorbent booms were deployed to help minimise the impact on the waterway.

“NIEA’s investigation into the source of the incident followed a definite line of enquiry, and statements, and other evidence have been gathered as part of the Water (NI) Order 1999 investigation which remains ongoing.

“NIEA treats all evidence and associated materials as ‘sub-judice’, and therefore further details of this active investigation cannot be released at this time.

“NIEA will provide a statement on the outcome of the investigation when it has been concluded.”

The Local Democracy Service contacted NMDDC for comment, but at the time of going to print it had not responded.

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