Northern Ireland

Scale of fish kill in Co Antrim river ‘shocking’, minister says

An investigation is underway at the Glenavy River

The Glenavy River in Co Antrim.
The Glenavy River in Co Antrim.

Hundreds of fish have been killed as a result of a pollution incident in a Co Antrim river.

The incident was reported in the Glenavy River, and an investigation is underway by the Northern Ireland Environment Agency.

Stormont environment minister Andrew Muir said he was “shocked” at the scale of the pollution after visiting the river, which is within the Lough Neagh catchment area.

“Pollution spills, whether intentional or accidental, are happening far too regularly - destroying our wildlife, causing huge damage to natural habitats and threatening our environment,” he said.

“This is the latest of 62 pollution incidents confirmed in this river since 2011 and the second large-scale fish kill in our rivers this year. We must do much better as a society when it comes to protecting our environment.”

Last month saw over 1,000 brown trout killed as a result of pollution in another Co Antrim waterway, the Four Mile Burn tributary of the Six Mile Water River.

The Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs has linked the incident in May to slurry.