Yes The’ve Done It Again

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1997, The Shanno below Drumsna is regarded by many as the finest coarse fishery in Europe.

1998. A facility below Drumsna is issued by the Irish Government an IPPC licence. ie. Licence to pollute the river Shannon.

1999. The river crashes. I and others witness thousands of dead fish floating belly up in Lough Forbes. Mick Flaherty sees hundreds of dead fish passing over Roosky weir. I attempt to contact the SHRFB and get an answer phone. Derek Orit the manager of Jack Purchase Angling Holidays manages to make contact and reports the carnage. Three days later the SHRFB report back that a pollution had taken place but they didn’t know the source.

2001. Visiting anglers stay away in their thousands. Bars, shops,guest houses, cafes, restaurants and hotels all begin to close through lack of custom. The £85,000,000 per annum that tourism in the Shannon Corridor generated was now lost for ever.

2008. The so called Celtic Tiger expires. A world wide recession follows leaving the said facility with little work. Redundancies abound and the two smoke stacks that belched their dirty grey muck on an almost constant basis began to lay almost idle. Presumably the heavy toxins that were allowed to flow into the river did so, also on a reduced basis.

2009. The river in Roosky shows signs of recovery. Small fish could be seen ringing the top in reasonable numbers.

2012. The river is full of fish again and the minute numbers of anglers who fished for them reported good catches of roach, hybrids and perch.

Friday the 7th of June 2013. I begin to receive disturbing reports of dead and dying fish passing down river in Roosky. So does Sean Wynne who lives further up river. A local resident informs me that he has notified the IFI (Inland Fisheries Ireland).

7th,8th,9th and 10th of June I along with others see a constant stream of dead and dying fish passing downstream.

11th of June I drive up to where the facility stands. Both chimneys belch out thick grey muck. Local folk assure me that they had been doing so for several days. A visiting angler is questioned by phone what he has witnessed by the EPA. The angler informs the EPA official of dead fish by Roosky bridge. The EPA official then asks the visitor which river flows through Roosky.

12th of June Sean Wynne receives a report from the IFI…..Now wait for this one……….you are going to love it! He is told that all the dead fish were the result of anglers keeping fish in keep nets for too long.

I ask! What anglers? There are almost non now. Also. If the anglers had caught all the fish we witnessed floating down river they would need 10 keep nets each and there would have had to be a row of them fishing 24 hours per day for five days.

I am used to having my intelligence insulted by the hierarchy here. I am convinced they think we are all stupid. Having said that everybody and their grannies knows whats wrong with the river here. Is their a darker reason why the powers that be won’t admit or do anything about it? I leave you to ponder!

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