Republic of Ireland news

Co Donegal river among 'worst polluted'

Moville in Co Donegal. The Bredagh river near the town is among the worst polluted in the Republic. Picture by Margaret McLaughlin
Ed Carty, Press Association

A RIVER in Co Donegal is among the worst polluted in the Republic, an environmental watchdog has warned.

The Bredagh near Moville has been classed as among six which are badly polluted.

In its first six-year review of water quality under new European rules, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) warned that the Republic has failed to meet its clean-up targets.

It also revealed that the number of pristine waterways in the state fell to 21 in 2015 - down from 38 in 2009 and 500 in the late 1980s.

The five other badly polluted rivers were the Tolka between Clonee and Clonsilla in Dublin; the Avoca in Co Wicklow; the Aughboy in Co Wexford; the Laurencetown stream in Co Galway; and the Srah river which runs into Lough Mask near Tourmakeady in Co Mayo.

The review showed some improvements in water quality, with 19 rivers classed as badly polluted in the 2007-2009 period.

Matt Craig, senior scientific officer with the EPA, said: "It would be a huge concern in terms of the approaches that we have taken so far aren't doing enough.

"We need to be targeting different protective measures in different areas."

The report is compiled as part of the Republic's commitments under the European Water Framework Directive. It does not provide evidence for the deterioration of standards in some areas.

But EPA specialists highlighted issues with waste water run-off, treatment plants, floods, one-off house building, clear felling of forestry and agriculture.

Earlier this year the European Commission said it was taking the Republic to court after repeated warnings over the pumping of raw sewage into rivers and the sea.

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