The river is the victim

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An Inishowen man has blamed the Donegal County Council as the chief polluters of one of the country’s most damaged waterways

Following a national report made by the Environmental Protection Agency, the Bredagh River in Moville was named as one of the most polluted areas in the county.

Long term campaigner for its clean up Gerard Sona described the river as an open sewer and has called on the new government and new TDs to clean the council’s act up.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ yesterday Mr Sona claims the DCC are breaking EU Water Quality regulations by allowing raw sewage to be discharged into the reservoir.

“There is supposed to be a pollution officer at the council, though I don’t know what they are doing, they have to be incurring fines because of the state they are leaving the river in.

“This has been an on-going battle, and we’ve been watching the story go on and on and in the meantime the river is the victim. We’ve been hanging around waiting on the Council to get its act together, but they have failed to carry out vital work on the river.”

Mr Sona says he remembers a time when the Bredagh was once a source of drinking water for people in the town.

“The river used to supply the whole town, but now my only concern is for the river. There are so many people who used to remember fishing in the river, but those days are gone. The whole way around used to be a walkway and it was used as an amenity or adventure playground for young people, but now the path has grown over and there is a strong pong of the river. Nobody will venture up near it again.”

The group of residents have been waiting for the development of the Moville Sewerage Plant for almost 20 years, but because of ongoing disputes with an Bord Pleannla and the local environmental pressure group, the river is being constantly polluted by discharges from the town’s municipal waste facility and has long been a concern of locals.

Mr Sona, who represents local residents in the town says the news from the EPA hasn’t come as a surprise to him.

“The council or somebody needs to arrange a clean up, they are saying now there is no money, but something has to be done. I have contacted the Lough’s Agency about restoring the fishing stocks in the river.”

The Lough’s Agency informed Mr Sona there it would be very foolish to restoring fish in such a heavily polluted river.