Fears Asian clam clean-up bill will reach €500k

Oisin Naughton, John Devanney, and Amanda Mooney of Inland Fisheries Ireland pictured with Cllr Gerald Farrell  in September when the Asian clams were first discovered in Lanesboro. Photo: Declan Gilmore Photography
The overall cost in solving Lanesboro’s Asian clam crisis could reach €500,000.

The overall cost in solving Lanesboro’s Asian clam crisis could reach €500,000.

Sources close to the ongoing situation believe clean-up charges will amount to around €100 per tonne.

Those fears look set to heighten concern among local residents this week as the controversy enters its fifth month.

Some of those spoke to the Leader this week about a situation they believe is being held up by a lack of transparency and ever-increasing bureacracy.

“None of us are any the wiser,” Lanesboro Angling Club secretary Eithne Clyne said frustratedly.

Two representatives from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) briefed locals on where the clean-up operation currently lies last Tuesday.

At that meeting, it is understood onlookers were told the State agency had abandoned plans to carry out dredging on the hot water stretch of the river Shannon in Lanesboro.

Instead, officials want to ‘vacuum’ or undertake a suction testing process across a 15 square metre stretch of water.

It is believed those findings will be forwarded to Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) figures for closer inspection.

Attempts by the Leader to determine whether the IFI plan on following through on these measures proved unsuccessful this week.

In the meantime, locals have decided to take a more hands-on approach by discussing proposals to set up an Angling Development Hub.

“All we want is answers, but it just seems nobody is saying what is going on,” added Ms Clyne.

Another of those to add his voice to the situation was Ballyleague Tidy Towns Vice Chairman, Joe Cribbin.

“It’s bad enough when you have to deal with one agency, but when you have five it just adds to it,” he said.

“It’s a bit like passing the hot spud around.”

As a local businessman, Mr Cribbin has also witnessed at first hand how the Asian clam crisis has taken its toll on the local economy.

“The two villages (Lanesboro and Ballyleague) were limping along on one leg. But when this came along, that leg has gone.

“We are at nothing if we don’t get this cleaned up.”