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Displaying items by tag: Courts

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured a conviction against Sligo County Council for damage caused to a tributary of a river linked to a Special Area of Conservation.

The incident happened at Carraun in Corballa, Co Sligo on a stream which flows into the Killala Bay/Moy Estuary Special Area of Conservation.

It involved machinery, commissioned by the council, driving through a river bed while carrying out road improvement works nearby.

The machinery crossed the stream a number of times, despite previous instructions from IFI to use an alternative route.

Sligo County Council was fined €250, must pay costs of €1,845 and has to pay €500 to IFI in respect of the expense of assessing restorative works.

Mary Walsh, director of IFI’s Western River Basin District, Ballina, said: “This work was overseen by the council, a large public body, and the habitat damage caused by machinery traversing the stream should never have taken place.

“IFI will continue to prosecute such illegal activity in fulfilment of our remit to protect and conserve Ireland's important inland fisheries resource.”

Prior to the commencement of proposed council works, consultation took place between an IFI senior environmental officer and a representative from Sligo County Council during which IFI clearly outlined the sensitivity of the watercourse on the site, and of the pollution mitigation measures required.

Despite this, damage was done to the river bed and the banks of a tributary stream of the Newtown River in April 2023.

The case was heard at Sligo District Court on Tuesday 6 February.

Walsh added: “Public bodies, contractors and landowners need to seek all necessary and relevant information from Inland Fisheries Ireland before carrying out any works near, or on, a watercourse.

“IFI encourage members of the public to report incidents such as this, and those of water pollution, fish kills, and illegal fishing to its 24/7 phone number, 0818 34 74 24.”

Landowners can refer to further guidance from Teagasc on minding Ireland’s watercourses.

Published in Angling

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has welcomed the outcome of its prosecution of Uisce Éireann (formerly Irish Water) for chemical discharges to the Ballymacraven River in Ennistymon, Co Clare in May 2023.

At Ennis District Court on Friday 16 February, Uisce Éireann was fined €10,000 and must pay €8,477 in costs in connection with the case.

The incident last summer caused the death of an estimated 2,000 fish.

Deceased species included a large number of eel, along with salmon, trout, rudd and flounder, of all ages.

IFI’s in-depth investigations led to the instigation of legal proceedings against Uisce Éireann, with court procedures concluding on 16 February.

Uisce Éireann accepted liability for discharge of deleterious matter from the Ennistymon Water Treatment Plant on two separate dates in May 2023.

Commenting on the verdict, David McInerney, director of IFI’s Shannon River Basin District said: “The impact of the discharges from Uisce Éireann’s water treatment plant resulted in a very significant fish kill over 2.6km of the river.

“It created a devastating impact on an ecosystem that supports vulnerable salmon and eel stocks. The court was told the incident was an ‘ecological tragedy’.

“It is critical that Uisce Éireann ensures that adequate systems and processes are in place to prevent any such event recurring. We welcome the improvements made to date, and future improvements to be made at this plant.”

IFI reminds the public they can report instances of fish kills, pollution, fish in distress, habitat destruction or illegal fishing by calling its confidential 24/7 number at 0818 34 74 24.

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Judgement has been reserved in campaigners’ legal bid to overturn the decision to approve the excavation of gas storage caverns under Larne Lough.

As the Belfast Telegraph reports, the coalition of local campaigners — under the banner of No Gas Caverns — and Friends of the Earth NI took their case to the Court of Appeal after their application for judicial review was dismissed last August.

Among their claims, they say that hyper-saline discharges from the excavation process would create a marine wildlife “dead zone” in the lough.

They also contended that Edwin Poots — then minister at the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA) — was required to seek consent from the NI Executive before green-lighting the project in November 2021.

Counsel for DEARA, however, insisted that Poots had legal authority to act unilaterally in his decision to award the marine licence to Islandmagee Energy, a subsidiary of Infrastrata-owned Harland and Wolff, for the excavation of seven 1,350m-deep caverns with an intended storage lifespan of 40 years.

The Belfast Telegraph has more on the story HERE.

The inquest into the death of a solicitor who drowned in Dun Laoghaire Harbour has returned an open verdict, as The Irish Times reports.

The body of 54-year-old David Montgomery was found by his wife and brother in the water near his boat on 10 October 2022.

Dublin District Coroner’s Court heard that Montgomery has been stressed by an issue with the Law Society — which the High Court heard last year was an investigation of his family’s legal practice over a €1.7 million deficit in a client account — and had on the day of his death seen a case “going badly”.

Montgomery was also not in the habit of wearing a personal flotation device when working on his boat moored in Dun Laoghaire Harbour, the inquest was told.

Gardaí added that that they were satisfied that his drowning was a “tragic accident” but the coroner, Dr Clare Keane, returned an open verdict absent enough evidence to conclude that his death was accidental, intentional or due to misadventure.

The Irish Times has more on the story HERE.

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AmericaOne Foundation has released a statement in response to US Sailing’s lawsuit alleging harmful practices, describing the accusations as “unfathomable”.

As previously reported on Afloat.ie, three high-profile departures from US Sailing last year — Paul Cayard, Bill Ruh and Jose Leandro Spina — were named in the lawsuit by the governing body for sailing in the United States.

The body’s complaint alleges actions that have “harmed athletes, the US Sailing Team, and US Sailing’s business and reputation with donors, sponsors, competitive sailors, and the larger sailing community and Olympic movement”.

However, AmericaOne’s response outlines what it says are the reasons behind Cayard’s and Ruh’s departures — and claims that any damage incurred by US Sailing by the withdrawal of donors and sponsors are of its own doing.

“Because donors contribute based on trust and confidence, when this team [of Cayard, Ruh and the coaching staff] resigned, it was no surprise that many donors withdrew their support and commitments,” it says.

The full statement is available on the America One Racing website HERE.

Published in News Update

The governing body for sailing in the United States has filed a lawsuit against a competitor organisation for alleged harmful practices, as Marine Industry News reports.

US Sailing’s official complaint claims accuses America One Racing of attempting to misleadingly represent itself as the de facto governing body for sailing in the country.

America One Racing was founded as a development programme for competitive sailors following a series of high-profile departures from the US Olympic Sailing Programme last year — including executive director Paul Cayard, United States Sailing Foundation chairman Bill Ruh and performance Director Leandro Spina.

US Sailing has named all three in its lawsuit, alleging that their actions have “harmed athletes, the US Sailing Team, and US Sailing’s business and reputation with donors, sponsors, competitive sailors, and the larger sailing community and Olympic movement”.

The body alleges interference with its business relationships that have cost it more than $4 million in funding, and is seeking more than $5 million in damages.

Marine Industry News has more on the story HERE.

Published in News Update

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) investigated a serious fish kill incident that occurred on 3 September 2021 at the Glore River in Kiltimagh, Co Mayo, as previously reported on Afloat.ie.

IFI’s investigation led to the instigation of legal proceedings against Uisce Éireann and court procedures concluded on Thursday 4 January.

Uisce Éireann, formerly Irish Water, has accepted liability for the fish kill, resulting from a chemical spill at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

A senior fisheries environmental Officer has inspected the treatment plant on several occasions since the fish kill.

Following an onsite meeting on 8 October 2022, a number of recommendations were made to Uisce Éireann to reduce the risk of future spills at the Kiltimagh Water Treatment Plant.

Uisce Éireann were fully supportive and these measures have now been implemented.

IFI, the State agency responsible for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats, says it will continue to inspect the plant to ensure that all recommendations have been followed.

Further to these preventative measures, Uisce Éireann has paid costs and a financial contribution of €15,000 to go towards research for habitat enhancement.

This will be used to identify the potential for a habitat restoration project in the upper Glore River and some of its tributaries.

This project will include a detailed survey of the Glore and possibly some adjacent sub-catchments, which will provide an analysis of current river and riparian habitat quality.

Where deficiencies are identified, appropriate amelioration works will be proposed to aid in the recovery of salmon stocks in the Glore River area.

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Campaigners against plans to excavate caverns for gas storage under Larne Lough took to its shores last weekend to reaffirm their opposition to the proposals.

And as Belfast Live reports, the protest at Browns Bay Beach on Sunday 7 January also heralded their upcoming hearing at the Court of Appeal, following on from last August’s dismissal of their application for judicial review.

Islandmagee Energy, a subsidiary of Infrastrata-owned Harland and Wolff, won a marine licence to excavate seven 1,350m-deep caverns under the lough when Edwin Poots, then minister at the Northern Ireland Department of Agriculture, Environment and Rural Affairs (DAERA), green-lit the project in November 2021.

The works would result in up to 24,000 cubic metres of brine being discharged into the inlet every day — a prospect that environmentalists and other campaigners say will have a significant impact on marine wildlife and habitats that they argue has not been properly assessed.

Belfast Live has much more on the story HERE.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured convictions against two men for illegal salmon angling on the River Slaney in Co Carlow.

The men were each charged with using an illegal method for salmon fishing and failing to produce a licence over the incident in the townland of Kildavin on 15 May 2023.

Dylan Byrne from Hacketstown, Co Carlow, was instructed to pay €700 in fines, and €500 in legal costs. He was also charged with obstruction or impediment of a fisheries officer.

Conor Kavanagh from Carnew, Co Wicklow was fined €350, and directed to pay €500 in legal costs.

The case was heard at Carlow District Court on 7 December 2023.

Commenting after the court verdict, Lynda Connor, South Eastern River Basin District director at IFI said: “The protection of the River Slaney is extremely important to sustain a viable population of wild salmon.

“Illegal angling puts further pressure on this exceptionally vulnerable fish. I commend our fisheries protection officers for their unwavering commitment in protecting this wonderful species.”

IFI encourages members of the public to report illegal fishing incidents, and those of water pollution, fish kills and habitat destruction, to its 24/7 phone number at 0818 34 74 24.

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Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has secured convictions against two men for an illegal netting incident in which three Atlantic salmon died.

The case was heard at Ennis District Court on Friday 27 October.

Tom Corry and Flan Considine, both from Clarecastle in Co Clare, were observed by IFI fisheries officers setting four illegal salmon nets across the River Fergus in Ennis on the night of 9 June this year.

IFI officers managed to release three salmon alive to the water, but three salmon were dead.

The court heard how, when apprehended, Corry and Considine were in possession of an illegally caught salmon. When IFI officers subsequently retrieved the nets that were set in the river, another five salmon were caught there.

Corry was fined €200 and Considine was fined €100. Both were ordered to pay costs of €615 each in relation to the offence.

During the investigation, IFI officers also seized a boat which was forfeited as a result of the conviction.

Commenting after the court verdict, David McInerney, Shannon River Basin District director at IFI said: “The River Fergus is closed to salmon fishing. Numbers in the river are significantly below levels required to sustain a healthy natural population.

“Illegal fishing is a serious environmental crime which has the capacity to threaten vulnerable salmon stocks.

“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 encourages the public to report illegal fishing or angling incidents or those relating to water pollution, habitat destruction or fish kills to its 24/7 confidential phone number at 0818 34 74 24.

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The Irish National Sailing and Powerboat School is based on Dun Laoghaire's West Pier on Dublin Bay and in the heart of Ireland's marine leisure capital.

Whether you are looking at beginners start sailing course, a junior course or something more advanced in yacht racing, the INSS prides itself in being able to provide it as Ireland's largest sailing school.

Since its establishment in 1978, INSS says it has provided sailing and powerboat training to approximately 170,000 trainees. The school has a team of full-time instructors and they operate all year round. Lead by the father and son team of Alistair and Kenneth Rumball, the school has a great passion for the sport of sailing and boating and it enjoys nothing more than introducing it to beginners for the first time. 

Programmes include:

  • Shorebased Courses, including VHF, First Aid, Navigation
  • Powerboat Courses
  • Junior Sailing
  • Schools and College Sailing
  • Adult Dinghy and Yacht Training
  • Corporate Sailing & Events

History of the INSS

Set up by Alistair Rumball in 1978, the sailing school had very humble beginnings, with the original clubhouse situated on the first floor of what is now a charity shop on Dun Laoghaire's main street. Through the late 1970s and 1980s, the business began to establish a foothold, and Alistair's late brother Arthur set up the chandler Viking Marine during this period, which he ran until selling on to its present owners in 1999.

In 1991, the Irish National Sailing School relocated to its current premises at the foot of the West Pier. Throughout the 1990s the business continued to build on its reputation and became the training institution of choice for budding sailors. The 2000s saw the business break barriers - firstly by introducing more people to the water than any other organisation, and secondly pioneering low-cost course fees, thereby rubbishing the assertion that sailing is an expensive sport.