The aim of the protest was to urge relevant authorities such as DAERA, NIEA and NI Water to take urgent action to tackle the ongoing ecological crisis in Lough Neagh, and to provide clarity on the questions that remain unanswered. It was to ask for it.
The South Antrim MLA said: “Today on the streets of Belfast we saw a clear demonstration of the strength of national sentiment and the enormous concern people have about the environmental crisis in Lough Neagh.
“DAERA, NIEA, and other agencies responsible for the lake will focus not only on addressing the algal bloom problem, which is now very prominent, but also on identifying the causes of the problem and possible long-term efforts. It remains extremely important to remain focused. A time-limited solution. The actions promised to address this problem in the short term are coupled with a long-term intersectoral initiative led by DAERA to ensure that the lake, its vital ecosystem, and the communities surrounding it are better served. It must also become an action plan. .
“It remains clear that a key part of doing so is the creation of an independent Environmental Protection Agency, which the Alliance has long called for and which all parties have previously committed to in the New Decade’s New Approach. This is what I have done. This will support an urgently needed review of all policies and practices affecting Lough Neagh and its ecosystem.
“What we hear today from campaigners and local environmental activists is that more can be done, faster, if the DUP gets back into action and local ministers can prioritize local issues. It is a stark reminder of how much more we can do if we are able to work together despite scrutiny. The MLA was elected to serve Northern Ireland 18 months ago. ”