Dáil Éireann - Volume 470 - 15 October, 1996
Written Answers. - Dublin Bay Oil Spill.
Mr. Sargent Mr. Sargent
305. Mr. Sargent asked the Minister for the Marine if the Irish Marine Emergency Service is to be reviewed in view of the inadequate response by public authorities to the recent oil spill in Dublin Bay which took such a high toll on wildlife and the maritime coastal environment. [18249/96]
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett) Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett)
Minister for the Marine (Mr. Barrett): I consider that IMES responded adequately and comprehensively to the recent oil spill incident in Dublin Bay. When the emergency service was first notified of a possible oil pollution incident near Burford Bank in Dublin Bay, it immediately activated the oil spill response contingency plan. All relevant agencies were advised of the report. Following confirmation that an oil spillage had occurred, all relevant local and harbour authorities were asked to activate their own contingency plans. Because no vessel reported an accidental oil discharge it must be assumed that the pollution resulted from an illegal discharge.
The response to the pollution incident was co-ordinated by IMES which liaised with all response agencies and interested parties including Dublin Corporation, Dún Laoghaire Rathdown County Council, the harbour authorities, the Irish Wildbird Conservancy and the Irish Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals. It would appear that, fortunately, very little damage was done to the marine and coastal environments. However, there was a significant impact on bird life in the bay area. Up to 600 oiled birds were recovered for treatment. This aspect of the response was co-ordinated by the Wildlife Service of the Department of Arts, Culture and the Gaeltacht. I can assure the Deputy that it is normal practice that marine emergency contingency plans are reviewed after each emergency and any  necessary adjustments are made in the light of operational experiences.
Dáil Éireann 470 Written Answers. Dublin Bay Oil Spill.