An investigation has been launched into a suspected pollution incident in Cork city’s Atlantic Pond, which is an important breeding ground for grey herons.
Officials said they will investigate the latest incident at the popular amenity area on the city’s Marina and in the shadow of the revamped Páirc Uí Chaoimh, after several councillors reported concerns about a serious deterioration in its water quality and vegetation.
Fianna Fáil councillor Tim Brosnan said it looked as if the area had been “poisoned”.
“Vegetation has been destroyed to such an extent that you can see bird and heron nesting sites in the island area. The place looks like a nightmare,” he said. “This has not been caused by the recent flooding. It looks to me as if it’s been poisoned. There has been a major incident down there and I want a full report.”
His call was supported by party colleague councillor Terry Shannon who said the Atlantic Pond has been plagued by several similar incidents over the years.
SF councillor Shane O’Shea said he noticed dark, milky grey, fluid in the pond last January and reported it to the council’s environment department, but had received no response.
The city’s head of environment David Joyce said he would investigate why Mr O’Shea’s email had not been dealt with but confirmed officials were aware of a suspected pollution incident which affected the pond in January.
He said officials spent four weeks investigating and visited businesses in the area but despite their efforts, they had been unable to trace the source of the incident.
Last month, the Atlantic Pond was hit by flooding caused by the failure of a flap valve which lets water flow from the pond into the Lee at low tide and to prevent water from entering the pond from the river at high tide.
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