The Explainer x Noteworthy: What is the environmental cost of hydropower?

Reporter Anthea Lacchia tells Susan Daly about declining fish stocks and significant changes in Ireland’s longest river.

By Laura Byrne Assistant News Editor

Design for SHALL NOT PASS project featuring a salmon leaping in the air with a large dam in the background.

“The Shannon hydroelectric scheme has very significant impacts on the Lower River Shannon.”

These impacts include killing, injuring and trapping critically endangered eels as well as protected species of fish such as salmon and trout, according to ecologist Dr Will O’Connor of Ecofact Environmental Consultants.

He along with numerous other experts who spoke to reporter Anthea Lacchia as part of our SHALL NOT PASS investigation are calling for improved fish passage and removal of obsolete structures along Irish rivers. 

This new series by investigative platform Noteworthy examines barriers along the Shannon, including Ardnacrusha hydroelectric station and dam, with large numbers of fish deaths recorded at ESB stations and salmon hatcheries.

This week, as a bonus episode of The Explainer brought to you by Noteworthy, Susan Daly chats with Lacchia about the investigation’s findings. We also hear from O’Connor who spoke to us on the banks of the Shannon during a visit by our team to Ardnacrusha. 


This episode was put together by Susan Daly, Maria Delaney, Alice Chambers, Anthea Lacchia and producers Laura Byrne and Nicky Ryan.

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