The company that owns a south Donegal hotel has pleaded guilty to allowing raw sewage seep into the sea at a popular swimming spot.
Donegal County Council took an action against MCBFG Woodberry Leisure Ltd of Creevy Pier Hotel, Glebe Ballyshannon.
The company pleaded guilty at the district court to two charges of discharging sewage into the watercourse on June 20, 2018 and also on July 25, 2018.
Council solicitor, Mr Kevin McElhinney, said the prosecution was for discharging effluent onto the shorefront at Creevy Pier.
Two samples were taken on different dates.
Mr McElhinney said the area was popular with swimmers and swimming lessons were given to children during the summer months.
He said the matter was resolved and the owners had spent €20,000 in remedying the matter.
The solicitor added that the council had incurred costs of €3,025.
In response to a query from Judge Kevin Kilrane, defence solicitor Niall Quinn said the premises was a ten-bedroom hotel.
Mr Quinn said a new system was installed and it will cost his client €20,000 to put it right.
He added his client had been affected by Covid and asked for the fine to be as low as possible.
The court was told the County Council costs had not been paid yet.
Judge Kilrane said the aggravating factors were that this was a beauty spot for tourists and swimming lessons for children, so the discharge of sewage was a serious matter.
Mitigating factors were that there were no previous convictions.
The company had complied with the directions and remedied the situation at considerable cost.
The judge said he was also taking into account the difficulties businesses faced over the past two years.
The judge said he would not leave the company with a conviction so long as costs were paid forthwith.
He added that the company could also make a contribution of €500 to Donegal County Council for water pollution eradication.
He added that if the costs and contribution could not be paid immediately, they could be paid in Carrick-On-Shannon District Court on Tuesday February 22.
Mr Quinn said that could be done in Carrick on Tuesday.
Judge Kilrane said if it was not paid, the company would be fined €1000 with costs of €3,025.