A farmer from county Fermanagh has been convicted, yesterday, after he was found guilty of polluting a local water source.
The farmer, Victor Armstrong, appeared at Enniskillen Magistrates’ Court yesterday, after his slurry tank polluted up to 10 kms of a waterway near his farm. This led to the death of a high number of fish and Mr. Armstrong’s eventual conviction.
Mr. Armstrong, from Irvinestown, was granted a conditional discharge and ordered to pay €2,935 to cover costs of the fish kill. The court case took place after investigations by water quality inspectors in 2016 found the farm to be polluting the Ballycassidy/Irvinestown river with pig slurry. Reports made said the river was grey in colour due to the slurry.
The inspectors then continued their investigation by checking out Mr. Armstrong’s farm after reports made to the Northern Ireland Environment Agency suggested the pollution was caused by Mr. Armstrong. Here they discovered slurry overflowing from the yard into the river. Samples of the leaking slurry were collected by inspectors.
After subsequent investigations by DEARA inland fisheries, a high number of brown trout were found dead or in bad health. In total 220 dead fish were found, with many more expected to have also died. These included pike, trout and roach breeds.
The slurry, polluting the waters, was found to contain very noxious poisons.