A farmer from Co. Fermanagh has been fined £500 plus a £15 offender’s levy for polluting the Ballinamallard River below Kilgortnaleague Bridge with farm effluent.

48-year-old Alan Henderson of Enniskillen Road, Kilgortnaleague in Enniskillen, pleaded guilty to one count of water pollution in Ennis Magistrates’ Court on Wednesday (May 10).

The court heard that on December 22, 2021, a water quality inspector acting on behalf of the Northern Ireland Environment Agency (NIEA) responded to a report of farm effluent entering the Ballinamallard river.

Farm effluent was found to have been dumped onto a steeply sloping field between the farmyard and the waterway.

The effluent was observed flowing down the field before entering the Ballinamallard River, approximately 40m from where the effluent had been released.

A tripartite statutory sample of the discharge was collected and analysed. 

The discharge was found to contain poisonous, noxious, or polluting matter which would have been potentially harmful to aquatic life in a receiving waterway.

Water pollution in Fermanagh

Another Fermanagh-based farmer was recently fined £750 in the same court for similar offences relating to water pollution.

37-year-old Kevin Leonard of Kesh Road, Irvinestown, pleaded guilty to making a polluting discharge to a waterway.

The court heard that on June 16, 2022, water quality inspectors acting on behalf of the NIEA responded to a report of farm effluent entering the Hollow River at Lisnarick, Irvinestown.

The inspectors attended the area and discovered silage effluent seeping from silage bales and flowing across the yard before entering the Hollow River via an overflow pipe on the farm.

The effluent impacted the Hollow River for approximately 1km.