|Lough Shore pensioners Dan Moore (on the quad) and Eamon Moore with Drew Moore out on Lough Neagh in front of 1 Ingrams Road, early afternoon, December 23rd, 2010.|
On Thursday December 23rd the fog lifted to reveal the full extent of ice cover on Lough Neagh, which is at its most extensive since at least 1963.
The picture above shows pensioners Eamon Moore and my dad (on the quad) along with my brother Drew on the ice in front of One Ingrams Road. The water is quite shallow, under four feet deep for a few hundred yards from the shore, so its a lot safer than it looks!
The ice extends for three miles to Langford Lodge point in the background.
I rode the quad out on the water from Ingrams Road to the mouth of the Crumlin River one and a half miles to the North earlier in the day.
The picture below shows the winter sunset over the ice, which extends for three to four miles to the southwest.
These pictures serve to remind us of two aspects of the CALNI objection to the Moy Park Incinerator.
Firstly, our part of Lough Neagh is very shallow which has created unique spawning grounds for many cold water fish species. These same conditions create what are probably the largest expanses of "safe" ice in Ireland when there is a big freeze. The warm water discharged from the Incinerator would threaten this whole ecosystem, not to mention almost certainly preventing the Lough from freezing again.
Second, our area is extremely beautiful, and is a designated area of high scenic value. The incinerator buildings will destroy one of the gems in the Northern Ireland countryside. It will be visible from 80% of the surface area of Lough Neagh and five out of the six counties in Ulster.
|Sunset over the ice, 28 Shore Road, 23rd December, 2010.|