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Thursday 30 March 2023 Dublin: 10°C
# Dublin
Emergency response under way after "extensive fish kill" on the Tolka
Hundreds of dead fish have been spotted along the Dublin river, following what looks like a detergent dump.

Updated at 6.10pm

DUBLIN CITY COUNCIL and Inland Fisheries Ireland are carrying out an emergency response following an “extensive fish kill” along the city’s Tolka River, in the stretch between Finglas Road Bridge and Drumcondra.

Locals in the area report seeing ‘hundreds’ of dead fish following what looks like a detergent dump in waterway today.

The situation has developed since this morning, with dozens of people posting images to social media, and reports of “fish of all sizes dead”.

According to Inland Fisheries Ireland, the latest indications are that the fish kill “extends from an area in the vicinity of Finglas Road Bridge for a considerable distance downstream”.

“The full extent of the kill has yet to be quantified,” a statement said.

The Council confirmed that personnel from its Drainage Services Division “attended the scene to investigate the matter” earlier and “confirmed a foam-like substance was in the river”.

“Samples have been taken for analysis and investigations are on-going,” according to the Council.

A temporary plastic barrier has been placed across Tolka at Griffith Park to prevent the foam from spreading downstream.

[Pic: Anne Barrett]

“My nine-year-old son was very upset this morning to discover that fish in the river Tolka at the end of our road in Glasnevin appear to have been killed by what looks like soap,” reader Anne Barrett said in an email this morning.

Pictures posted on social media later this morning showed the situation worsening…

Photocall Ireland photographer Sasko Lavrov captured these images in the area this afternoon…

Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland Sasko Lazarov / Photocall Ireland / Photocall Ireland

Tolka River pollution

Tolka River pollution

Tolka River pollution

There are fears the incident could have a significant long-term impact on fish and other wildlife in the area: studies in recent years have shown wild salmon returning to the waterway in significant numbers — a development that’s largely been attributed to a drop in pollution levels in the northside river.

Green Party councillor Ciarán Cuffe, who represents the North Inner City, said he had reported the incident to the Environmental Protection Agency, and was urging the agency to “take action to investigate and prosecute those responsible”.

I’m also calling on the EPA to take whatever action can be done to limit the impact of this incident on the river body.

“It would be shameful if this incident destroys the painstaking work that has been undertaken to clean up the river.”

Councillor Noel Rock, who represents Glasnevin and Drumcondra, said “over 100 dead fish” had now been spotted.

“It’s a sad situation,” he said, adding that he had also submitted a complaint to the EPA.

A spokesperson for the Environmental Protection Agency said it was liaising with the Council in its investigation.

However, the spokesperson added that all EPA-licensed facilities in the relevant area had been contacted this afternoon, and that none had reported any incidents.

Under the terms of their licensing agreements with the agency, factories and other facilities face harsh penalties if they don’t report incidents to the EPA in a timely manner.

Know anything about it?… There’s a freephone number, operated by Inland Fisheries Ireland, that you can call to report incidents of illegal pollution…

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

Read: Mick Wallace and Clare Daly arrested at Shannon Airport

Read: ‘If I was Minister for Finance I would meet Donald Trump – but not on his terms’ 

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