A long-standing campaigner against a controversial sewage pipe between Moville and Greencastle has said that the Northern Ireland Secretary of State is right, Lough Foyle belongs to Britain, whether we like it or not.
Enda Craig, who as a member of the Community For a Clean Estuary, has been among those campaigning against the Carnagarve effluent discharge pipe for the last quarter century, was commenting after James Brokenshire reiterated London’s claim last week.
Mr Craig said the British claim, which is legally founded in Charles II’s Charter of 1662 and has been used by CFCE to argue against Donegal County Council’s right to pipe sewage hundreds of metres into the middle of the Lough, continued to present a “spanner in the works” for Anglo-Irish relations in the North West.
He said: “CFCE has been saying for years that the British Government has ownership of all of Lough Foyle to the high water mark on the Donegal side. On that basis we have stated that the claim by Donegal County Council to ownership of that part of the sea-bed of Lough Foyle at the townland of Carnagarve where they proposed to lay a sewage discharge pipe was and is illegal.
“This group does not rejoice in the knowledge that we were right all along nor do we agree with the British claim - we were simply putting the researched facts on the table as we found them.”
Mr Craig said Mr Brokenshire was honestly stating the British position.
“At least Mr James Brokenshire has put the British Government’s cards on the table.
He added: “This controversy has come to the fore again because of Brexit and if this British claim holds up what then are the implications for anyone from Donegal or indeed Republic of Ireland as a whole with regard to business and access to all amenities of Lough Foyle?”
Donegal County Council had not responded to a request for comment as the ‘Journal’ went to press.