Photograph shows Downpatrick Councillor Cadogan Enright and Downpatrick Anglers Club Chairperson Trevor Love beside thousands of fish lying along the bank of the Quoile River between Quoile Yacht Club and the Quoile Barrier.

Downpatrick Anglers Spokesman Trevor Love rejected Thursday Nights Press statement by the NI Environmental Agency (NIEA) that last weeks massive Fish Kill was due to natural causes.

Trevor said “It is a complete fiction to pretend that rainwater stirring up saline water on the bed of the river is causing this fish kill. No such fish kill has happened in the past when there has been heavy rain. What is clear is that no healthy river should have a layer of toxic mud capable of absorbing all the oxygen in river, as is the case in the Quoile. Beside the sewage works there is a huge build-up of this mud, and God help anyone who falls into it.

DOWN Councillor Cadogan Enright said “The fish kill over the last week appears to come from the area of the Downpatrick sewerage works as bounded by the Saul stream to the East and the Plank Drain to the West. The fishing club agrees with me on this as there were no distressed fish above this point.”

Cadogan Enright said “I have it on good authority that the Rivers Agency is well aware that the Saul Stream is polluted with sewage from the Saul Road area and fuel oil. The Rivers Agency has been aware of this for a long time. This stream cuts down to Church Street and is pumped out into the Saul Stream and emerges into the Quoile just East of the Sewerage outfall. The EHS/NIEA has a boom on this stream now, which it claims is to stop oil, but it will not stop the sewage”.

Cadogan said “Similarly the Plank Drain that emerges from under Dunleath Park is also serviced by the Rivers Agency who are aware that they are pumping five separate sources of polluted water full with sewage into it as follows;

– From Pemberton Park
– From Stream Street
– From the Direction of Saul Street

AND from the other side of the road via the pumping station at the railway station

– Market Street
– The Town Drain.”

Cllr Enright said “I requested that the plank drain be tested at the start of the summer and it came back as heavily polluted, even before it reaches the railway pumping station and becomes more polluted before it discharges into the Quoile just to the East of the Downpatrick Sewerage outfall into the River. I have reported these repeated pollution offences at other similar locations by a public body to the NIEA for investigation. I am doubtful if a prosecution will result given the record to date”.

Trevor Love said “The Plank Drain also had fuel oil still leaking into the Quoile on Monday Night when I was up there taking samples with the Angling Club for Queens University to test. It is essential that we now have an Independent Environmental Agency set up. It is no longer acceptable for the Government to be investigating itself – there will always be a cover-up”

Green Party Cllr Enright agreed and said, “It seems to us that the there are two main culprits for the pollution over the last week – either the rivers agency for the flushing of these streams and drains full with sewage during the heavy rain, or NI Water and the Downpatrick Sewage works for creating the toxic mud deposited between the sewage outfall and the New Belfast Road Bridge”.

“The NIEA and FCB have been downplaying this event all week, for instance, claiming that only a few fish were killed. We invite the public to go and see for themselves at the barrier or look at our website We need an Independent Environmental Agency urgently. In all of Western Europe only the NI government still investigates its own environmental crimes.

Press Cuttings: Downpatrick anglers and Enright reject Quoile fish kill ‘cover-up’, Fish kill reasons are rejected by anglers