#Angling - A Mayo man has been convicted of obstructing a fisheries officer and failing to produce a salmon licence over an incident on the River Moy.
At a sitting of Castlebar District Court on 3 January, Judge Mary Devins imposed fines totalling €600 on David Egan of Claremorris.
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) brought the case against Egan when he was found fishing a section of the Cloongee Fishery on the River Moy in the Pollagh area and was not in possession of a valid permit or salmon angling licence.
Solicitor Dermot Hewson, acting on behalf of IFI, outlined the facts of the case against Egan and his refusal to hand over his fishing gear. No defence was offered by Egan, who pleaded guilty to both charges.
IFI’s ownership of the fishing rights on the Pollagh section of the Cloongee Fishery, near Foxford, was disputed previously but was confirmed at a special sitting of Castlebar Circuit Court in 2012.
The fishery was purchased from the private owners by the former North Western Regional Fisheries Board on behalf of the State in 2005.
IFI chief executive Dr Ciaran Byrne said: “The regulation of angling on the River Moy is imperative if we are to effectively conserve and protect this valuable resource.
“Incidents of obstruction of Fisheries Officers have become quite common and this court case sends a clear message that this will not be tolerated.
Dr Byrne added that the Cloongee Fishery “is well known as a very productive salmon fishery and Inland Fisheries Ireland has ensured that permits are available locally at a reasonable cost. The fisheries resource offers huge value from both a recreational and economic perspective to the local community.
“Inland Fisheries Ireland will continue to apprehend those who carry out illegal fishing activity.”