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25/10/2021

Councillors await conclusive report on quality of Donegal bay waters

Councillors await conclusive report on quality of Donegal bay waters

Councillors are awaiting the findings of a report which was compiled in relation to investigations that were carried out on the water in Dungloe Bay, over the course of the summer, amidst concerns of pollution in the well-known inlet.
The matter was raised by Fianna Fáil Councillor Noreen McGarvey during an online meeting of the Glenties Municipal District (GMD), this week.
During the course of the summer, concerns about the potential health and safety of the bay area was brought to attention of authorities by the daughter of the late Gay Byrne. Ms Crona Byrne penned a letter to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) highlighting the matter.
In her correspondence to the EPA, Ms Byrne included photographs and wrote: “In these you will see brown oily sludge and in other pictures clearly visible faeces in the water and on the 24th of July there were numerous faeces floating in the bay. As I am sure you are aware, this is a huge health and safety matter that needs urgent attention.”
At this week’s meeting, Cllr McGarvey asked what progress had been made on the issue. She also thanked the environmental section of Donegal County Council (DCC) on their expediency in investigating the matter.
“Is there a problem, is there not a problem?” Ms McGarvey said.
Independent Councillor Micheál Choim MacGiolla Easbuic said he had received numerous calls about the situation in both Dungloe and Annagry bay.
“It will be interesting when the final report is published. It looks like there are issues in some of the bays,” he said.
Donegal County Council Marine officer, David Friel said the council lab team has investigated the reports and he will make the conclusion of the report available to councillors.
The Director of the Environment with Donegal County Council, Michael McGarvey said the concerns ‘with Annagry, Dungloe and a number of other places’ have been investigated and samples taken.
“We found, for example, in Dungloe Bay, excellent water quality when we did go out there but I am sure you have seen some of the photos … when we tested the samples they seem to be an unnatural phenomenon.”
Mr McGarvey said the matter continues to be monitored and all efforts will be made to eradicate any concern relating to public safety.

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