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Threat to 55 fisheries court cases

April 23rd, 2024 1:00 PM

By Siobhan Cronin

Threat to 55 fisheries court cases Image
There may be other pollution cases affected. (Photo: Shutterstock)

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SEVERAL pollution prosecutions that were being undertaken by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) are now under threat and unlikely to go ahead, The Southern Star has been told.

IFI confirmed that a total of 55 cases nationwide have been impacted by what it called ‘an issue’ relating to ‘internal authorisations’ for the cases.

The issue was highlighted at Skibbereen District Court last week when the body withdrew a prosecution against a local distillery firm, arising from a pollution incident on the River Ilen in the summer of 2021.

A solicitor for IFI said he was withdrawing the prosecution ‘for internal reasons’.

He said there have been ‘difficulties with prosecution because of internal difficulties,’ but he offered no further explanation.

A spokesperson for IFI later told The Southern Star: ‘An issue arose in the past relating to internal authorisations for Inland Fisheries Ireland staff to initiate prosecutions on behalf of the agency. The issue was successfully resolved in June 2023. Due to the delay in some cases being heard it has taken until now for them to reach finalisation in the courts.’

The spokesperson added that a total of 55 cases were affected.

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