Loughs Agency has released the following statement regarding the November 2020 Meenbog incident:
The pollution case relating to the Meenbog incident was heard at Letterkenny District Court on 7th June 2022 as FCILC v Planree Limited.
The evidence supplied by Loughs Agency under the relevant provisions of the Fisheries Acts was supplemented by evidence supplied by a number of partner agencies, including Donegal County Council’s Environment Team, Environmental Protection Agency Ireland and Northern Ireland Environment Agency. The District Court Judge heard direct evidence from a Loughs Agency Fishery Inspector and, following cross-examination, the company pleaded guilty and was fined €1,500. The company was also ordered to pay legal costs on both sides and reimburse Loughs Agency for capital restoration works completed to date.
This was a serious incident which drew attention from ministers in both Northern Ireland and Ireland, who visited the site on the Tyrone/Donegal border after the event. Edwin Poots, Minister for Agriculture, Environment & Rural Affairs, and Charlie McConalogue, Minister for Agriculture, Food & the Marine, met at the scene outside Castlederg. The incident saw thousands of tonnes of peat washed into an internationally protected salmon river. The peat slide occurred at a wind farm under construction on the Donegal side of the border but affected rivers and a fish farm in Northern Ireland, putting the Northern Ireland drinking water abstraction on alert.
Loughs Agency continues to evaluate the environmental impact of the significant peat slide which affected both the Mourne Beg and Derg Rivers. This was recognised as a serious environmental incident. Remediation works to help raise the river's biological carrying capacity and biodiversity levels are ongoing.