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Friday 9 June 2023 Dublin: 13°C
Sasko Lazarov/Photocall Ireland File photo of a dead fish from a separate incident on the Tolka River.
# Sewage
'An absolute disaster': Hundreds of fish killed in River Tolka after someone put car tyre into sewer
The blockage led to a manhole cover overflowing and sewage being discharged into the River Tolka.

THE TROUT FISHING community in Dublin have expressed frustration and anger after hundreds of fish died following sewage pollution.

It’s estimated that up to 500 fish were killed after a sewer became blocked in Mulhuddart in west Dublin.

The blockage was caused by someone putting a car tyre into the sewer and led to a manhole cover overflowing and sewage being discharged into the River Tolka.

A 3km stretch of the river between Blanchardstown and Mulhuddart is thought to have been affected.

Speaking on RTÉ’s Morning Ireland, Dr Greg Ford – head of operations with Inland Fisheries Ireland – said the fish kill was a “tragic hit” for the River Tolka, which has suffered a number of similar kills in recent years.

“Well, at the moment we estimate we’ve lost something in the region of 500 [fish],” he said.

The Tolka Trout Anglers are an active angling club in the area and Ford said they worked hard to maintain the river.

He said the IFI had heard about the incident from a young local angler and had responded quickly to try to address the issue.

He said samples were taken of the water and that an investigation was ongoing into the incident.

“This is the heart blood of the community… and we want to try to do what we can to bring back the river as soon as possible,” he said.

Thousands of fish were killed in an incident in 2014 when detergent was discharged into another stretch of the river.

“Absolute disaster” 

Derek Talbot – from the Main Irish Angling store in Blanchardstown – said that any fish kill was an “absolute disaster” for the angling community.

“This country has an overall problem with pollution,” he said.

How can the sewage pipes be blocked? They’re supposed to be regularly maintained.

He blamed what he called negligence on behalf of the authorities in addressing the issues with sewerage pipes.

“The council doesn’t maintain them properly,” he said.

A spokesperson for Ervia – the parent company of Irish Water – said that the blockage was caused by someone putting a car tyre into the sewer.

“Investigations found that a car tyre was the main cause of the blockage. The tyre was removed and the operation of the sewer was returned to normal,” the spokesperson said.

We are appealing to members of the public to refrain from putting items into the sewer network that can affect the capacity of the sewer and cause overflows which have a negative impact on the environment.

The spokesperson said that Ervia was working with the Environmental Protection Agency and Inland Fisheries Ireland in relation to the incident. has contacted Fingal County Council for comment.

Read: Transition year students are being taught a new skill – fishing

Read: ‘The system is a joke’: A quarter of Irish fishing vessels caught with illegal workers

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