Mill owner to pay €767 after water level drop led to death of two fish

first_imgAn Inishowen man has been ordered to pay almost €800 in prosecution costs after he was taken to court over the death of two fish in Donagh River last year.Liam O’Connor, 65, of Milltown, Carndonagh, admitted taking water from the Donagh River in July last year, an action that resulted in the death of two fish, when he appeared before Carndonagh District Court. Prosecuting solicitor for Inland Fisheries Ireland, Liza Finnegan said the fishery officers received a report of dead fish in the Donagh River in Carn.She said an investigation followed and fishery officer Peter Kelly went to the river and spoke with Liam O’Connor, who owns the Old Mill and the Mill Pond, which is beside his home.Ms. Finnegan said Mr. O’Connor was carrying out maintenance on the river, which was below the water level.“He was asked to reinstate the water and give the flow back to the river as there were two trout found dead due to the low water level,” Ms. Finnegan explained.“He was reluctant to adjust the water flow but Fishery Officer Kelly explained about the importance of doing this to keep the river at a good level for the fish stock.”Ms. Finnegan said when the Fishery Officer said went back to patrol the Donagh River on July 18, he spoke with Mr. O’Connor again when he was looking at the Mill Pond.“He said he had a right, and his family always had the right, to draw water from the river to power the Old Mill,” Ms. Finnegan said.“But there was a substantial amount of water taken from the river on this occasion.”Defence solicitor for Mr. O’Connor, David Henry said Mr. O’Connor and his family had the rights to the Mill Race for generations and he was maintaining it at his own expense for years.Mr. Henry said there was no monetary benefit to Mr. O’Connor. He said there was a Circuit Court order made in 2002 that gave Mr. O’Connor the right to clean the Mill Race [a current of water that turns a mill wheel].He said he diverted water up stream in the river and if he hadn’t done this the water would have been restricted from getting into the Mill Race completely and more fish would have been lost.The Buncrana based solicitor explained that the flood in August 2017 had a huge impact on the river. He said the dry weather in June and July last year also affected the water level in the Donagh River.“During the flood of 2017 a huge deposit of salts and gravel built up in the river and above the Mill and they were unable to get in to extract water,” Mr. Henry explained.“Mr. O’Connor carried out a lot of work on the river and in 2018 they were able to get back in. Last summer there was a prolonged spell of dry weather which, contributed to the dryness in the river,” he added.Mr. Henry said Mr. O’Connor was very apologetic and said it was unfortunate that fish were lost due to his actions. However he said it was fortunate that the loss was limited to two fish.He said his client pleaded guilty and was very helpful and polite to the fishery officers, assisting them where he could.Judge Paul Kelly ordered Mr. O’Connor to pay Ms. Finnegan’s prosecuting solicitor costs of €767.93, adding that if he did that in a month he would strike the matter out.Mill owner to pay €767 after water level drop led to death of two fish was last modified: July 4th, 2019 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:CarndonaghdeatdonegalInishowenmillrivertroutlast_img read more