Thousands of fish die in polluted rivers

THE Shannon Regional Fisheries Board has warned that the weekend’s landslide at Maghanknockane could cause an ecological disaster in the Feale catchment area if any more peat from the bog-burst enters the River Smearlagh.

The board said the landslide poses a serious threat to salmon and sea trout and their spawning grounds in the Glashoreag River, a tributary of the River Smearlagh.

Thousands of mature and juvenile trout and salmon have already been killed as a result of the landslide and fisheries board staff are now working with Kerry County Council in an effort to prevent more material from the bog entering the River Smearlagh and bringing about a possible ecological disaster in the river Feale catchment. Staff from the board attended the area on Saturday and found large volumes of peat on the move down the hillside.

At present, peat has travelled over two miles and is at a depth of eight to 10 feet. Fishery Board staff are endeavouring to prevent the landslide having as severe an effect on the local ecology as that they witnessed in Derrybrien, Co Galway, when a major bog-burst happened there in 2003.

Shannon Regional Fisheries Board Chairman Michael Callaghan expressed his serious concern at these developments and has called for a full investigation into the causes of the Maghanknockane landslide.