The European Commission has told the Anglers’ Conservation Association (ACA) that its formal complaint to the Commission in October 2001 has convinced it to take formal proceedings against the UK at the European Court of Justice.


Thousands of salmon and trout have been killed in the River Strule due to sewage pollution from the Omagh works over the past 5 years. 


Acting on behalf of ACA members with fishing rights on the River Strule, the ACA issued a formal complaint to the Commission.  The complaint stated that the Water Service of Northern Ireland, which operates Omagh Sewage Treatment Works, had failed to comply with the Urban Waste Water Treatment Directive and that the resulting sewage pollution breached EC standards.


Mark Lloyd, Executive Director at the ACA, said:

“It is sad that we have had to take this case to the European Court to persuade the UK to improve these sewage works when it has been quite plain to the anglers for years that the Omagh sewage works has been having a disastrous impact on these precious fish and other wildlife.“


The ACA is also taking parallel common law proceedings for compensation against the sewage works. The ACA has issued a writ on behalf of a large number of angling clubs and anglers on the Strule and has served this on the Water Service.


Guy Linley-Adams, Solicitor at the ACA said:

“Anglers are the first to notice how pollution damages rivers and causes huge fish kills. The ACA is here to represent those anglers and to make polluters pay for the damage they cause and that is precisely what we shall be doing in this case.”