Investigations ongoing into source of Athlone oil spill

Inland Fisheries has confirmed that there are no reports of any dead fish following an oil spill in the River Shannon in recent days.

An operation is ongoing to identify the source of the spillage that resulted in the death of a cormorant bird and a number of swans and signets being taken for special cleaning.

Westmeath County Council confirmed that oil has escaped from the tributary and into the main body of the over Shannon and that the source of the contamination is downstream of the Water treatment facility in Athlone.

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Inland fisheries staff are also monitoring the situation and no dead fish have been observed in the area.

Oil retention barriers remain in place and an official clean up operation is due to be launched in the coming days.

This is the latest statement from the IFI as of 5pm on Tuesday evening:

IFI staff are continuing to monitor and investigate the area affected by an oil spill on a tributary of the river Shannon. There has been no clear evidence of a significant fish kill associated with the incident although IFI have noted a number of photographs of a small number of dead fish on Facebook attributed to the event – however as of this afternoon IFI staff have not identified any dead fish directly caused by this event. Oil incidences are unusual in that the oil floats on the surface of the water and fish can avoid the effects of the pollutant provided they do not move through the surface film. IFI is continuing to work with the local authority to narrow down the possible sources of the pollutant and to ensure that it is identified and eliminated.

Anyone looking to report incidences of pollution or poaching should contact Inland Fisheries Ireland on our 24 hour hotline 1890 34 74 24.