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Concerns as blue-green algae overwhelms Lough Neagh

Lough Neagh algae
Blue-green algae on the shoreline of Lough Neagh

Think layers of blue-green algae is overwhelming the shoreline of Lough Neagh in recent days.

Their toxins can cause diarrhea, nausea or vomiting; skin, eye or throat irritation; and allergic reactions or breathing difficulties to humans; it can also be fatal to pets and livestock.

The Northern Ireland Environment Agency has been contacted to investigate the sheer scale of the issue, which comes as we encounter the hottest days of the summer this week.

While it may be a case of not entering the water – Amity Island-esque – for some, it’s also a case of not going near the shoreline given the repugnant smell emanating from the algae.

A spokesperson for Armagh, Banbridge and Craigavon Council said: “Due to wider environmental factors of water temperatures on Lough Neagh, there has been an algae bloom reported on various sectors of the Lough.

“Wind direction has pushed this bloom down into the south shores of Lough Neagh, from Bartin’s Bay to Oxford Island. This will continue until there is a change in wind direction or weather change, which will disperse the bloom.

“Until then, signage is in place to inform the public of the potential dangers to humans and animals. We urge users of council owned lakes and waterways to be aware and vigilant in all locations. Do not put yourself or animals in direct harm.

Please report any concerns regarding blue-green algae at council owned waters to

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