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Displaying items by tag: River Shannon

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured convictions against three men for illegal fishing offences on the River Shannon.

Two men were convicted of illegal salmon netting on the River Shannon, and another man has been convicted of possessing an unlawfully captured salmon.

Damien Mallard and Calvin Hughes of St Mary’s Park, Limerick were observed by IFI officers setting a 100-metre salmon net from a boat, spanning almost the entire width of the River Shannon in Limerick city.

Separately, Ger Molloy of St Mary’s Park, Limerick was convicted of possessing an unlawfully captured salmon.

In the early hours of 22 July 2022, IFI officers apprehended Mallard and Hughes and seized a net which the men had retrieved and brought onboard a boat.

With the assistance of An Garda Síochána, the boat was also seized.

The case was heard at Limerick District Court on Friday 8 September this year.

The court heard how Mallard was convicted of previous illegal fishing offences, and a four-month suspended sentence was imposed for two years in October 2020. As the date of the July 2022 offence was within the two-year period of the suspended sentence, the sentence was invoked.

Taking on board the early plea, but also the seriousness of the offences, a one-month custodial sentence was imposed by the court.

Legal counsel for Mallard indicated he would appeal the sentence with general bail conditions attaching to this appeal. This has the effect of staying the operation of the District Court order until such time as the appeal is concluded in the Circuit Court.

Costs of €560 to IFI were granted.

The co-accused — Hughes, who pleaded guilty to the same illegal salmon netting offence — received a fine of €250 and costs of €250 were awarded to IFI.

Separately, in a case heard on Friday 8 September at Limerick District Court, Ger Molloy was convicted of possessing an unlawfully captured salmon.

The court heard how on 1 July 2022, Molloy was observed angling for and catching a salmon by rod and line in the tailrace portion of the River Shannon.

A fine of €250 was imposed, and IFI was awarded costs of €250.

Commenting on the cases, David McInerney of the Shannon River Basin District at IFI said: “The lower River Shannon is open to salmon fishing on a catch-and-release basis only. Salmon numbers in the River Shannon catchment are significantly below levels required to sustain a healthy natural population.

“Any illegal fishing puts further pressure on a very important and iconic wild Irish fish. In 1971, a total of 1.2 million wild salmon returned to Ireland. Last year, that number was just 171,697 — representing a fall of 86 per cent.”

IFI encourage the public to report incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution or fish kills to its 24/7 confidential phone line at 0818 34 74 24.

Published in Angling

Musician Niall Breslin has set out on a challenging 300km voyage kayaking the River Shannon from Dowra to Limerick to raise funds for mental-health resources.

Breslin, or Bressie as he’s widely known, is part of a group with five other inexperienced kayakers taking part in The Rising charity challenge, as Newstalk reports.

“I haven’t thought it through in any shape,” Bressie told Newstalk’s The Hard Shoulder before heading to the start in Co Cavan,

“I don’t fit in a kayak as well which is a bad starting point - so, I’m kind of squeezing myself into it.”

Commenting on social media on Friday (30 June) after his first day on the paddle, from Dowra to Carrick-on-Shannon, Bressie said: “It was no what I expected. A real challenge.”

He added: “We had to talk the first 3km because of rocks and how shallow it was. Lough Allen hit us hard. Wasn’t in a great mood. We had to fight every second to get across. We are all exhausted and I also sprained [an] ankle but we are still rocking.

“Thank you so much to everyone who came out to support us today. Really helped get us through.”

Newstalk has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking

The volunteer crew of Lough Ree RNLI were involved in the rescue of 133 people in 42 different incidents on the lake and River Shannon so far this year.

The charity’s volunteers embarked on their first callout of 2022 on the afternoon of St Patrick’s Day and have since gone to the assistance of 40 boats in difficulty on the inland waterways.

Fortunately, all 133 people who needed the charity’s assistance were rescued safely and no injuries were reported.

In the most significant incident, 10 people were escorted to safety when a small boat capsized near the N6 motorway bridge in August, while nine people were on board a cruiser which ran aground on the Hexagon Shoal in June.

Groundings of boats on the Hexagon Shoal accounted for a quarter of all callouts this year.

Speaking at the charity’s headquarters at Coosan Point this week, Lough Ree RNLI lifeboat operations manager Kevin Ganly said: “It appears that the provision of additional markers around the Hexagon Shoal in recently by Waterways Ireland has improved safety in that area of the lake. Nonetheless the charity and its volunteers remain always ‘on call’ to respond to any emergencies.”

The new lifeboat station, which was operational for the first time this summer, has proven to be a particular asset, Lough Ree RNLI says.

In recent weeks volunteer crew from across the Midlands and West have used the facility for casualty care training. The station’s designated slipway at Coosan Point has also contributed to more efficient launches of the charity’s lifeboat Tara Scougall.

The lifeboat station is base for more than 40 volunteers who along with their families generously give of their time and expertise to assist the local community.

Published in RNLI Lifeboats

An intrepid pair of kayakers are now five days into their 10-day adventure paddling the length of the River Shannon from source to sea.

Eoin Connolly and Ronan McDonnell skipped the usual festive fare as they set out on Christmas Eve in their two-person kayak to tackle the epic 360km route.

And it’s all for a good cause, specifically the Rafiki Network which assists young mothers in Zimbabwe by providing them with support for mental health and income generation.

Follow Eoin and Ronan’s progress on their Instagram page as they aim to complete the challenge in the coming days.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

Works are planned for improving angling facilities on the Nenagh River and other tributaries of the River Shannon in Tipperary and Offaly, according to the Nenagh Guardian.

Details are included in the latest annual report of the Shannon Fisheries Partnership, which covers the Shannon catchment above the ESB-controlled Ardnacrushsa fishery.

The partnership promises “an extensive programme of instream and bank side works which will focus on the improvement of fish stock and fish habitat”.

These works will take place on the Nenagh River, the Little Brosna/Camcor River at Birr and the Mulkear River near Birdhill in tandem with the ESB, Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and local angling clubs.

The Nenagh Guardian has much more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

A Limerick councillor has hit out at what he branded as the “utter incompetence” of inland fisheries officers after images circulated on social media of as many as 60 salmon allegedly poached from the River Shannon.

As the Limerick Leader reports, the images show the the wild salmon lined up in a front garden, with three men alongside giving thumbs up.

It’s understood that the salmon are thought to have been illegally netted from the tail race at the Ardnacrusha hydro-electric plant.

Commenting on the images, Cllr Emmett O’Brien did not mince his words as he directed his ire at Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

“The dogs in the street know that poachers are putting out nets and catching salmon swimming in the tail race,” he said, adding that there is a black market for such salmon throughout Limerick city.

“But bizarrely the IFI officers rarely if ever patrol the tail race but rather seem intent to race up and down the river in large power boats like Navy Seals.”

IFI says it is “currently investigating the circumstances of this incident and is therefore not in a position to comment further at this stage”.

The Limerick Leader has more on the story HERE.

Published in Angling

The Inland Waterways Association of Ireland has alerted members over reports of the invasive quagga mussel in the River Shannon.

The bivalve is said to be “abundant in Lough Ree over a wide range of depths” and has also been found in Lough Derg and the stretch of the Shannon between the loughs.

Similar in appearance to another invasive species, the zebra mussel, the quagga mussel (Dreissena rostriformis bugensis) has spread over a number of decades from its native waters in Ukraine as far as Mexico. It was first recorded in the UK in 2014.

According to Dr Jan-Robert Baars of UCD’s Invasive Ecology (InEco) laboratory and Dr Dan Minchin of the Lough Derg Science Group, the quagga mussel “behaves in a similar way [to the zebra mussel] and is also a filter feeder removing planktonic organisms from the water column. It has a high filtration rate likely to result in further changes to water quality and nutrient dynamics of, in particular, lakes.

“The quagga mussel is likely to compete with the zebra mussel and native species. Having a wide ecological tolerance and suited to Irish climatic conditions, it is expected to become widely distributed in time.

“It appears to have a preference for cooler water and can settle on finer sediments than the zebra mussel explaining its greater abundance at depth in some colonised lakes elsewhere.”

The scientists warn that the species “is likely to be spread by boats to the upper Shannon, and through the Shannon-Erne Waterway to the Erne. It is also likely to be spread overland by trailered craft. Owners of boats should be made aware they could spread this species from the Shannon.”

In addition, the presence of the quagga mussel “is likely to lead to a further surge in fouling and may have additional impacts on water quality and the ecological integrity of Irish aquatic ecosystems.”

The species is currently under a rapid assessment field study by the InEco lab.

Published in Inland Waterways

Residents of a Limerick suburb on the banks of the River Shannon say they were not consulted about plans for a new kayaking facility in a local park.

As the Limerick Leader reports, locals close to Shannon Fields have hit out at the proposals for a fenced-off hard stand and storage unit for the Limerick Kayak Academy on park lands provided by Limerick City and County Council.

Speaking for the residents of the neighbouring Irish Estates, Cllr Frankie Daly said: “The lack of consultation is beyond a joke.”

Their campaign has the support of former champion rower Maxine Murphy, who suggests that Curragower Falls in the city centre would be a better location for the kayakers' needs.

But the council counters that residents will have every right to express their opinions as part of the planning process.

The Limerick Leader has more on the story HERE.

Published in Kayaking
Tagged under

Remote and “tranquil” cabin cruiser moorings, kayak trails, canal walks and greenways form part of a €76.5 million tourism plan for the river Shannon published today.

As Times.ie reports today, the ten-year masterplan is the first such “whole river” approach to the entire Shannon region, according to Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin and Minister for Local Government and Heritage Darragh O’Brien.

The 360km waterway is the longest river in Ireland and Britain, and runs through ten counties – all of which are involved in the strategy drawn up by Fáilte Ireland and Waterways Ireland.

Prone to periodic flooding, the river also has untapped potential as an international and national tourism destination, according to Fáilte Ireland which plans to invest 2.1 million euro in the waterway this year.

As Afloat reported yesterday, the masterplan identifies seven priority areas, and three key themes within Fáilte Ireland’s “Hidden Heartlands” brand  -  “The Shannon, Mighty River of Ireland”, “Shannon Journey’s” and “Adventures and The Natural Timeless Shannon”. 

Redevelopment of Connaught harbour in Portumna, Go Galway; a “canoe step” for access to Lough Derg; a new cycle and walking trail linking Connaught harbour and the Lough Derg “blueway”; and extra cruise berths in several counties and in Athlone, Co Westmeath are among initial projects allocated for funding.

 Fáilte Ireland’s head of product development – activities Fiona Monaghan said that a pilot project to develop “remote” or “tranquillity” moorings for cabin cruisers would focus on three such locations on Lough Derg, three on Lough Ree and three on the upper Shannon.

The plan also involves supporting a number of tourism businesses along the river and the Shannon-Erne waterway.

The entire ten-year plan has been costed at 76.5 million euro, Monaghan said, with a focus on “quality, rather than quantity”, and a sensitive approach to the river’s environment.

Strategic environmental assessments and public consultation have already taken place, she said.

 Minister for Tourism Catherine Martin said that “this unique area is highly valued for its special environmental qualities and biodiversity and is home to many unique species, and native flora and fauna”. 

“ It will be a haven for on-water and off-water experiences offering a range of ways to be active in nature, in a sustainable manner.  The Shannon will invite the visitor to slow down, stay longer and to engage with local communities,” she said.

Martin said the region will be developed as a “model of ecologically sustainable tourism”, with a “leave no trace” code of practice and a “slow travel” approach for visitors. 

Other elements of the plan include the development a water-based “activity hub” at Red Bridge (Ballymahon), Co. Longford,  due to its proximity to Lough Ree, Ballymahon and the Center Parcs complex.

Ten additional cruiser berths will be developed in Roosky, Co Roscommon, and there will be additional car parking, landscaping, and interpretation of the waterways “industrial heritage”.

Read more on Times.ie here

Published in Inland Waterways
Tagged under

Refurbishment of the Longford Canal and the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry are two of the projects that will be funded from a €63.5m allocation for greenways in 2021.

Transport Minister Eamon Ryan and Minister of State Hildegarde Naughton today (Monday 9 November) confirmed the funding for a range of greenways across the country.

Minister Ryan said the funding “is the highest single year amount ever allocated to greenways”.

“Indeed, it nearly equals the total amount originally allocated for the four years 2018-2021 (€53m) and shows the commitment of this Government to providing a step-change in the way in which we fund walking and cycling,” he said.

Among the inland waterways projects in the list is the €172,000 refurbishment of the Longford Canal spur of the Royal Canal, with improved infrastructure being provided along its cycleway.

In Co Offaly, €3.1 million has been allocated to fund the extension of the Grand Canal Greenway from Daingean to Edenderry, with another €1.66 million for the stretch between Daingean and Lough Boora, west of Tullamore.

“By the end of next year it will be possible to cycle the greenway the whole way from Edenderry to Lough Boora, over 50km worth of cycleway,” Minister Ryan said.

Minister Naughton added that a new greenway bridge across the River Shannon in Athlone would be funded from a €8.1 million allocation to the Galway-to-Dublin Greenway.

Published in Inland Waterways
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