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Dublin: 13 °C Saturday 23 February, 2019

Company fined after detergent leak kills thousands of fish on the River Tolka

Alma Hygiene will have to pay almost €35,000.

Foam was visible along a 4.5km stretch of the river.
Foam was visible along a 4.5km stretch of the river.
Image: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

A DUBLIN DETERGENT company has been ordered to pay almost €35,000 after pleading guilty to the discharge of detergent into the River Tolka that killed more than 5,000 fish.

The incident happened last year when detergent was spilled at Alma Hygiene in Cabra.

An investigation by Inland Fisheries Ireland found that the spilled material at the company subsequently found its way into a storm drain that flows into the Tolka.

The discharge affected a 4.5km stretch of the river between Finglas Road Bridge and East Wall with Inland Fisheries Ireland concluding that more than 5,000 fish including brown trout and sea trout were killed.

22/07/2014 Tolka River pollution Foam was visible along a 4.5km stretch of the river.

Inland Fisheries Ireland were made aware of the situation after members of the public contacted them on 22 July 2014 about reports of hundreds of fish being killed.

Dozens of photographs were also posted online that day showing an apparent detergent spillage in the river.


Last week at the Dublin District Court, Alma Hygeine Ltd pleaded guilty to the discharge of  deleterious matter to the River Tolka.

The company was fined €250 and was also directed to pay legal costs and expenses to Inland Fisheries Ireland and Dublin City Council totalling €34,603.45.

Almost €8,000 of this was to compensate for the cost of dealing with the spillage.

22/07/2014 Tolka River pollution Locals reported hundreds of dead fish after the spillage. Source: Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland

Judge O’Neill heard evidence from Noel McGloin of Inland Fisheries Ireland who said they carried out investigations over a number of days after the discharge was spotted.

McGloin said they visited the premises of Alma Hygeine and concluded that the spillage had originated there. The staff at the company were then directed to clean up the discharge and prevent any further effluent entering the watercourse.

Inland Fisheries Ireland says the staff at Alma Hygiene were found to be fully cooperative during the investigation.

Spotted anything fishy?… There’s a freephone number, operated by Inland Fisheries Ireland, that you can call to report incidents of illegal fishing or water pollution…

You’ll reach them on 1890 FISH 24 (1890 34 74 24). 

Read: “Catastrophic” – fish kill in Limerick river wipes out trout population >

Read: 650 fish killed in Limerick slurry spill >

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About the author:

Rónán Duffy

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