LIMERICK County Council are carrying out an investigation after a dead cow was reportedly dumped in the River Deel last week.
The animal carcass was discovered in the river near Belville Bridge, near Kilmeedy, last Thursday. The carcass was removed from the water for disposal by county council officials the following day.
A spokesperson for the council confirmed that the animal was removed promptly in a bid to remove the possibility of water contamination.
The Deel forms part of the county’s drinking water supply network, and flows from Dromina in North Cork to Newcastle West and Rathkeale, before entering the Shannon Estuary at Askeaton.
The spokesperson said that council will now attempt to trace the animal’s owner, if possible, in a bid to determine how the carcass ended up in the river. While the dumping of dead animals into rural rivers at bridges such as Belville is not uncommon, the council is not ruling out the possibility that the animal may have fallen into the river and floated downstream.
All dead animal carcasses have to be disposed of by a licensed knackery, for a fee.
The River Deel at Belville is popular location for brown trout fishing, and the river itself forms a major part of the drinking water supply network in the county.
Last year up to 1,500 homes were left without water following the accidental spillage of 2,000 litres of oil into the Deel at the Crecora Mills plant in Castlemahon.
The public water supply in the area was hit by restrictions for up to two weeks afterwards.
Emergency water tankers had to be provided, and the final bill for the clean-up of the river exceeded €500,000.