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Donegal: Ministers shocked at peat slide devastation
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Donegal: Ministers shocked at peat slide devastation

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Ministers from both sides of the border have visited the scene of a huge peat slide on the Tyrone
Donegal border.

 

The incident saw thousands of tonnes of peat washed into an internationally protected salmon
spawning river.

 

Environment minister Edwin Poots and the Republic's Agriculture minister Charlie McConalogue
met at the scene outside Castlederg.

 

They expressed shock at the extent of the damage which is the subject of a cross-border
investigation.

 

Mr Poots also visited a trout farm in the area, which was affected.

 

The peat slide happened at a wind farm under construction on the Donegal side of the border just
over a week ago.

 

Work has stopped while efforts are made to stabilise the area.

 

"It is clear that this peat slide has had an immediate impact on fish and the ecosystems upon
which they rely but until conditions permit, it is not possible to quantify that impact,"
Mr Poots said.

 

Water levels are still high in the area after recent rain, making damage assessment difficult.

 

Mitigate further pollution

There had been opposition to the wind farm development with anglers and others claiming
it could lead to instability in the bog where the 19 turbines are going in.

 

Planners had decided it was not a risk.

 

Mr McConalogue said it had been a worthwhile visit allowing them to view the damage and
see the efforts to prevent more.

 

 

"I was also pleased to see the speed with which the cross-border multi agency group was
established in response to this incident and it was helpful to get a briefing from them on
the work they are doing collaboratively to support efforts to mitigate against any further
pollution."


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