Deputy Kathleen Funchion
Concern about the mainly commercial pollution of the River Barrow and the knock-on effect on fishing stocks on the river was expressed in the Dáil by Sinn Féin Deputy Kathleen Funchion.
She said she was raising the issue on behalf of the Barrow River Piscatorial Society which is very active in the community.
“It has continuously raised the issue with Inland Fisheries Ireland, IFI, which seems to be passing the buck or not taking the matter seriously,” she said.
“When the society came to me, I endeavoured to organise a meeting for it with Inland Fisheries Ireland and there was correspondence back and forth. Unfortunately, Inland Fisheries Ireland has not committed to a meeting. The society has the right to request a meeting and I do not see the problem with granting such request. We raise the issue to ask the Minister to ensure that the chief executive of Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ciaran Byrne, meets with the Barrow River Piscatorial Society so that it can raise its concerns.”
It believes it is being treated as a second-class citizen because groups with an interest in other rivers have been granted meetings with Inland Fisheries Ireland, she added.
In response, the Minister for Communications, Climate Acton and Environment, Denis Naughten said the problem is that there is a multifaceted approach to issues such as this and responsibility does not lie with any one agency, which is hugely frustrating.
“As the Deputies are aware, the provisions of the water pollution Acts come under the remit of the Minister for Housing, Planning and Local Government, Deputy Eoghan Murphy,” he said. “I will commit to taking the points raised by the Deputies back to the Minister of State, Deputy Kyne. I will discuss this issue with him and we can try to see if we can progress it.”