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Construction Firm Convicted Over River Dodder Fish Kill

16th October 2013
Construction Firm Convicted Over River Dodder Fish Kill

#FishKill - Inland Fisheries Ireland has secured a successful prosecution of a Galway-based construction company over a fish kill on the River Dodder in South Dublin earlier this year.

Ward and Burke Construction Ltd of Stradbally East, Kilcolgan, Co Galway was convicted and fined €2,000 by Judge William Hamill at a sitting of the District Court at the Four Courts on Monday 14 October.

The judge found in favour of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) who took the prosecution following its investigation into the fish kill, which saw some 500 freshwater fish - including juvenile brown trout, lamprey and stoneloach - deceased over a 2km stretch of the River Dodder in the Tallaght area from below an outfall from Boherboy Water Supply Pipeline to a point upstream of Firhouse Weir.

Giving details of the sampling and analysis undertaken, IFI fisheries environmental officer Brian Beckett confirmed the discharge from the water supply pipeline to the Dodder was characterised by seriously elevated levels of chlorine.

Beckett said that on the afternoon of 1 March 2013, he instructed staff from Ward and Burke Construction Ltd to immediately terminate the discharge, and prevent all remaining effluent residues from entering the watercourse. Ward and Burke staff were found to be fully co-operative at all times during the investigation.

Legal representatives for Ward and Burke who had earlier told Judge Hamill there was a plea in the matter said that the discharge occurred as a result of human error, and as soon as this had come to their attention they had taken steps to prevent any further discharge.

It was also submitted that the construction firm had committed to provision of a sum of money to cover restocking or other appropriate costs to mitigate against damage caused as a result of the discharge.

Judge Hamill convicted Ward and Burke Construction Ltd and imposed a fine of €2000 and awarded legal costs and expenses to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

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