At the time of writing, we are currently at the site of the Drimnagh Castle moat, the inspiration and focus of our report. This ancient castle’s water feature is still as operational as it was when it was first made, over 800 years ago.

However, rather than invaders and attackers, today this moat faces a different kind of threat; pollution.

Our findings show that this moat has been polluted chemically, with the result being that the water is more acidic than it should be naturally. What’s even more surprising is that the pollution doesn’t start here at our school, but from further up the River Camac.

The acidic water has most likely been polluted by waste from the nearby industrial estates. Shockingly, a number of large, illegally dumped items such as dishwashers and trolleys have been found further up the river.

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This has resulted in the moat fish dying, as the water became too toxic for their bodies to get oxygen. The moat has been proven to be even more inhabitable as the local ducks have all left their nests at the moat. Instead, large numbers of microorganisms such as blackflies that thrive in toxic waters, are abundant.

These problems could be solved by organizing a fundraiser in order to clean the moat professionally and safely, and fencing off areas of the river so that it is harder for people to illegally dump their unwanted waste.

All of this has led us to believe that the moat of Drimnagh Castle is highly polluted and that more action should be taken to preserve such an important yet underappreciated historical site.

This scientific report was undertaken by four students of Drimnagh Castle Secondary School, Long Mile Road, Dublin 12.