The Explainer x Noteworthy: Is Ireland a dumping ground for poultry manure?

Noteworthy’s Niall Sargent and journalist Ella McSweeney tell Susan Daly about concerns over the cross-border poultry manure trade.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

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A “FARMING AND industrial success story”. This is how the poultry industry in the border region was recently described, and it sure does pack a punch.

Today, the industry supports over 3,500 in the border region and it is still growing. There are now close to 40 million birds on the island, a 50% increase in just two decades.

With more birds, however, comes a big pile of problems from the manure produced and the ammonia emissions with it – already dangerously high on the island of Ireland.

To try and combat this issue in the North, in order to get planning permission, farms must now prove that they have an outlet where they can export the manure – and the Republic of Ireland is a key market. However, there appear to be cracks in the system.

This issue is central to the FACTORY FARM investigation by Noteworthy, with The Detail and The Guardian which examined serious concerns over the authenticity of files used in poultry farm planning cases in the North and where manure is really going.

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by our investigative platform Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with reporter Niall Sargent and journalist Ella McSweeney about their findings on this murky element of the industry’s expansion.


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Niall Sargent and producer Laura Byrne.

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