Crown Estates, the landlord for the Queen, told the Irish Fisheries Department that permission needed to be given by them for any pipeline to be built into any of their waters even if someone is renting a section of the Lough from them.

Crown Estates

Here’s what they told the Fisheries Department in 2007:-

“As a body when granting a landowner-consent we include certain reservations and caveats giving us rights over our proprietary land interests. Typically this might relate to the need to carry out works or consent to the laying of pipes, cables, outfalls or jetties, even dredging in certain circumstances (all subject to the necessary statutory consents). We wish for the landowners rights to be preserved in such circumstances and consideration given that an aquaculture licence does not grant exclusive rights to the detriment of other sea and foreshore users, using the landowners’ land, as such the rights of the landowner must be preserved in each circumstance”.


That seems pretty clear.

1. The Crown Estates claim they own the land up to the high water line of the Foyle and the Ministry of Agriculture and the Loughs Agency pay them rent for the use of it, so their ownership must be accepted by the Irish Government.

2. Donegal Council has not been in touch with the Crown Estates over using the foreshore at Carnagarve.

3. Even if they were renting the land from Crown Estates, Donegal Council would still have to ask permission to run a pipeline into the lough which may well get turned down because of the effect on the aquaculture businesses. Even if they were to get this the Crown Estates would almost certainly insist on an even higher level of compliance to make sure that the treated sewage didn’t damage the aquaculture businesses from which Crown Estates derives income.

4. Donegal Council said they were buying the land from the Ministry of Agriculture. According to the Carnagarve Group, the Ministry of Agriculture has no knowledge of such and application.

5. The work and the investigation that the Council have done so far in the foreshore – did they get permission from the owners for that?

6. Do Crown Estates know that raw sewage is being dumped into Lough Foyle at the moment? If they are thinking of taking legal action to stop the flow of treated sewage into the Foyle, which may damage aquaculture businesses from which they derive income, what would they think about raw sewage being pumped in?


This is all very strange indeed. Why did the Council spend so much money when they hadn’t even asked the legal owners if they could build a sewage treatment plant there? It beggars belief that they didn’t.

Who was the 2011 foreshore purchase order lodged with? According to the reports it wasn’t the Crown Estates nor was it the Ministry of Agriculture?

If they spent €750,000 on an enquiry using top lawyers, why did they not ask the lawyers who owned the foreshore at Carnagarve? That might have saved them a good deal of taxpayers’ money.

There are a lot of questions and very few answers.

April Fool’s Day was an appropriate day for this news to come out. I nearly didn’t publish it because of that.