Desecration of a World Treasure

There is a lake in Ireland once regarded as the finest trout water on
earth. Anglers came from far and wide to fish it.
Fifty years ago, it was poisoned to death’s door by sewage from a
nearby town.
Since then, it has been slowly, lovingly, nursed back to health by those
who care for it.
That water is Lough Ennell in County Westmeath.
It has been my great privilege to live close to it for the last decade of its
recovery. During this time, I have visited it hundreds of times, to walk, to
fish, to watch its birds, or simply to listen to it.
It is a lake of many moods. Sometimes it is sun-kissed, with gentle
wavelets tinkling on its shore. Sometimes it is flat calm, like a mirror.
More often there are bigger waves, with the true voice of the lough. It
moves as a great river along the line of the wind. Sometimes again it
roars, in a gale. But it is always beautiful.
During the past decade, I have seen it gradually reach full health again.
In my opinion, it is now one of the natural wonders of the world.
To wander its wooded shore, listening to songbirds, and watch clouds of
mayfly come off the lake, with big, wild brown trout splashing all around,
is a rare treat indeed.
Alas, there is a new cloud which shadows the soul of Ennell. Irish Water
have proposed adjacent Mullingar Town as a ‘hub’ to receive the
sewage sludge from multiple counties.
This really would be history repeating itself, in a most sordid way.
Environmental experts have filed a report advising Irish Water that
Ennell is a fragile ecosystem poorly suited to their proposal. The
company has yet to issue its final edict.
We will wait and pray.