Oil spillage threat to wildlife near Courtown

By Dan Walsh

There are serious ecological concerns in North Wexford after an oil spillage was discovered this afternoon in the Ounavarra River at Courtown Woods close to Courtown Harbour. Wexford County Council has ordered a major investigation.

Oil spillage on the Ounavarra River. VIDEO CREDIT; gallivanting.ie

Walkers in Courtown Wood were distracted by a strong smell from the river and thick oil streaks were spotted in the river. WexfordLocal.com has learned that the spillage may be diesel oil and originates somewhere near Ballycanew, several kilometres away!

Locals have noticed that salmon spawning on the river could be affected, ducks have been smeared with oil, and otters and other wildlife could be endangered.

Cllr Fionntán Ó’Súilleabháin said the discovery was made this evening and staff from Gorey-Kilmuckridge Municipal Council have already carried out a preliminary investigation with the immediate focus on discovery of the oil leak.

The Ounavarra river is tranquil and pleasant in this study from last June. Today it is fighting the threat of an oil spill. (Archive Pic; WexfordLocal.com

The Environmental Section of Wexford County Council have planned a thorough investigation tomorrow with the assistance of various groups dedicated to the welfare of wildlife and the preservation of the environment.

An Garda Siochana, the Oiled Wildlife Response Network, the Seal Sanctuary of Ireland, and other interested agencies will be monitoring the situation.

Any information that might be of assistance to Environment Section, Wexford County Council 053 9196313 or Gorey Garda Station 053 9430690 or the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111.

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