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Sinn Fein demand full report into Strule fish kill

10 August, 2004

Sinn Féin West Tyrone MLA Barry McElduff has demanded a full report into the River Strule fish kill.

Mr McElduff said:

"It is vital that there is a full report into the into the River Strule fish kill. There are just far too many unanswered questions and the impact on the development of Omagh town cannot be underestimated not just for angling but also for the development of tourism.

"Last Friday, when the scale of the problem was emerging, I contacted the Water Management Unit at the DoE River Services requesting an immediate preliminary report.

"I am concerned that given the history of problems with this river and the low water level that monitoring was not stepped up sooner to allow a quicker response from the relevant government agencies.

"At local level and at EU level through schemes such as ERNIE there is increasing recognition of the potential of waterways as a natural resource. Within Omagh there are two initiatives, the Omagh College and the new Arts Centre, that are turning the town to face the River Strule so that we can get the maximum benefit from it.

"We urgently need to work out what exactly caused this pollution and we need to put in place a long-term recovery plan. I am also mindful of the inquiry into inland fisheries carried out when I was previously a member of the Assembly Culture, Arts and Leisure Committee that found that the majority of waterways pollution was caused by the activities of government departments and agencies." ENDS

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