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  • Northside West

Tolka River suffers fish kill

Tuesday, 25th July, 2017 8:00am

Story by Jack Gleeson
Tolka River suffers fish kill

Pollution of Tolka River killed an estimated 5,000 fish back in 2014. FILE PHOTO

Tolka River suffers fish kill

Pollution of Tolka River killed an estimated 5,000 fish back in 2014. FILE PHOTO

HUNDREDS of fish were killed in the River Tolka last week after a blocked sewer in Mulhuddart caused pollution to flow downstream for almost three kilometres.

Up to 500 fish are believed to have died during the incident, which is being blamed on an old car tyre being dumped into a sewer pipe leading to a manhole cover overflowing.

Sewage was then discharged into the river from Mulhuddart Bridge to the back of Connolly Hospital in Blanchardstown.

Cllr Roderic O'Gorman (GP) described the fish kill as “extremely disappointing” and called on the river to be urgently restocked.

“With up to 500 fish dead, I am calling on Inland Fisheries Ireland to bring forward a restocking scheme to go some way to undoing this damage,” he said.

"This fish kill is extremely disappointing.

“It appears that a car tyre was dumped into one of the sewer pipes near Mulhuddart, which cause the blockage and the resulting leak into the river.

"Over the last few years, a lot of work has been done to improve water quality and the stock of fish in the river, especially by Dublin 15 residents working through the Tolka River Environmental Alliance.

“We cannot allow the reckless action of the person who caused this blockage undermine this great work.

“If Inland Fisheries Ireland bring forward a restocking scheme soon, we hopefully will be able to restore fish numbers in the river.”

Keen angler Duncan Smith, who is Labour Party Councillor for Swords, said the fish kill was an example of the vulnerability of urban waterways to pollution. 

Cllr Smith, who was a junior member of the Tolka Trout Angling Association, is calling for a national strategy to protect urban waterways.

"This latest kill was apparently due to a car tyre being dumped in a sewer causing a blockage and overflow,” he said.

“This simple yet malicious act has had a devastating impact on a near 3km stretch of the Tolka.

"I would like to see a risk assessment done by Irish Water in conjunction with our local authorities to highlight risk areas for pollution and put in place environmental plans at these locations so any pollution events are avoided and don’t impact on our fish population.

“I know first-hand the back breaking labour that goes into keeping rivers and lakes clean from local angling groups, environmentalists and tidy Towns groups but sewage events are beyond the competency of these voluntary groups to control, yet they can undo years of hard work in minutes. 

"We need to protect our waterways and our fish stocks for the benefit of our wider communities”

Earlier this year Irish Water submitted a planning application for a €50 million drainage project aimed at improving local sewage treatment and preventing uncontrolled overflows at River Tolka.

The proposed Blanchardstown Regional Drainage Scheme, which is also designed to eliminate flooding in Mulhuddart, will be located along the Tolka River Valley in Blanchardstown between Parslickstown and Mill Road.

Read the digital editions of the Dublin People Northside East, Northside West & Southside here