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#IFI - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has today launched a public consultation in preparation for the development of a new five-year corporate plan.

Interested parties are being invited to submit observations on what should be included in the plan which will run from 2015 to 2020.

IFI was established under the Inland Fisheries Act of 2010, and under Section 41 of the Act it is required to prepare, adopt and submit for approval to the Minister for Communications, Energy and Natural Resources a five-year rolling corporate plan.

IFI’s current corporate plan covers the period 2011 to 2015 and is available on the IFI website HERE.

The principal functions of IFI are set out under Section 7(1) of the Act and these are the protection, management, and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. The general functions of the agency are:

  • To promote, support, facilitate, and advise the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, marketing, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling.
  • Develop and advise the minister on policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries including sea angling and,
  • Ensure implementation and delivery of policy and strategies developed under subsection (b) as agreed with the minister.

Observations on what should be included in the new plan can be made to Emma Fortune, IFI Headquarters, 3044 Lake Drive, City West, Dublin 24 or by [email protected].

The deadline for receipt of observations is Friday 10 April 2015.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is seeking submissions from interested parties to update and amend existing Trout Bye-laws currently in operation in the Shannon River Basin District.

It is noted that the existing bye-laws in the Shannon catchment are for certain angling waters ambiguous and for others outdated.

IFI intends requesting the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine to replace the existing bye-laws with more updated regulations that will better enable the management of these waters in a sustainable manner. 

The key bye-laws to be replaced or restated and amended are numbers 787 (Lough Ree, 2003), 790 (Lough Sheelin, 2003) and 817 (River Shannon No 8 District, 2007).

The areas being considered for review are:

  • To set the bag limit for wild brown trout on Loughs Owel, Ree, Derg and Sheelin to three fish per angler per day.
  • To set the close season for Lough Owel, Ennell, Derravaragh and Ree from 1 October till the last day of February inclusive.
  • To set the close season for Lough Derg from 1 October till 16 March inclusive.
  • To amend the minimum size limits or introduce a bracket size of fish that can be taken by anglers on Loughs Owel, Ennell, Ree, Derg and Sheelin.
  • Other amendments as required in line with best practice and following the submissions received.

IFI may, as part of the process, arrange a public consultation meeting if deemed necessary, but all submissions must be received in writing and will be published on the IFI website at

Submissions may be sent by post to the Director, Inland Fisheries Ireland, Ashbourne Business Park, Dock Road, Limerick or by email to [email protected].

The closing date for receipt of submissions is at 5pm on Friday 17 April 2015.

Published in Angling
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Inland Fisheries Ireland Announce Sponsorship Programme 2015

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has today (10.03.15) announced its 2015 Sponsorship Programme which aims to increase awareness of IFI, its work, recreational angling in Ireland and the inland fisheries resource.

Anglers, angling clubs, angling federations, groups, associations and clubs or other appropriate bodies are being invited to apply for IFI's support to assist with events. This includes any appropriate inland fisheries, recreational angling, education and awareness or other appropriate event, competition, item or initiative.

The IFI Sponsorship Programme supports events based on: the location and nature of the event; the potential of the event to introduce new users to angling in an active capacity; education, increased awareness and empowerment of stakeholders in the areas of recreational angling as well as environmental, commercial fisheries and habitat issues; development of events and support for existing events; increased participation in national and international events for juvenile anglers and female anglers; events across all angling disciplines and all River Basin Districts; events that can draw large number or repeat visits of angling participants to rural areas.

Organisers should be aware that from 2015 onwards catch and release is prerequisite in all angling events seeking assistance under the IFI sponsorship scheme.

Applications for large scale national events and the hosting of international events with the capacity to draw increased numbers of both domestic and overseas visitors to rural and peripheral regions for extended periods are welcome. Organisers planning to host international competitions and events to be held beyond 2015 are also invited to register and / or apply for support for these events. This register will be used for planning and marketing purposes.
All applicants must complete a Sponsorship Application form and Event Approval Form and submit them to the IFI Business Development Section before March 31st, 2015. Applications will not be assessed until after the submission closing dates. Support, subject to availability, will primarily consist of staff and equipment use as well as location supports – there is minimal financial support available during 2015 for club events.
Funding for the delivery of IFI's remit through service level agreements with angling federations is possible, and federations are invited to make a combined application (including international, national and local events) for support on a prioritised basis. Where possible, support will be assigned to assist with the development of new events which provide additional opportunities to attract more users to recreational angling.
For further information on the IFI Sponsorship Programme 2015 including detailed sponsorship criteria and application forms, visit
Completed application forms should be sent to Bridie Fleming, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest Business Campus, Citywest, Dublin 24.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Four Irish angling records set in 2014 were recognised at the recent Irish Specimen Fish Awards, as Derek Evans writes in The Irish Times.

Aaron Cummins, Ian Mulligan, Stephen O'Neill and Tom Walsh were all noted for their respective record landings of carp, thin-lipped mullet, golden grey mullet and spur dogfish between June and October last year, as previously reported on

And the ceremony at Bewley's Hotel in North Dublin, with a keynote address by broadcaster and angler Derek Davis, also saw Conor Ward of Balintglass, Co Wicklow receive the Dr Arthur Went Award for young specimen angler of the year for his 5.75lb roach/bream caught at Lough Nablahy in Roscommon.

The Irish Times has more on the story and other angling news HERE.

Published in Angling

#Angling - Three men were convicted of illegal fishing in Connemara in two separate cases at a sitting of Clifden District Court last Thursday (26 February).

In the first case, Judge Mary Fahy heard that Michael Coyne, of Leenane in Co Galway, was apprehended by fishery officers on 31 July 2014 in possession of two salmon.

The court heard that Fishery Officers on patrol in the Aasleagh area of Killary Harbour at night heard splashing in the water, and using a thermal imaging camera observed a man using a net. The officers went immediately to the area and apprehended Coyne in possession of salmon.

The judge was told that Coyne immediately admitted to illegal fishing. The court also heard that he was co-operative, and showed the officers where he had hidden three nets.

Judge Fahy convicted Coyne on two charges of illegal possession or a net, and the illegal use of a fixed engine, and fined him €600 with €200 costs.

On the same day, the court heard a case against Pat King and John Coneys, both with addresses in Ballyconneely, Co Galway.

Evidence was heard that on 27 July 2014, Assistant Inspector Sean Coady of Inland Fisheries Ireland was on patrol in the Ballyconneely area when he observed two men in a boat acting suspiciously.

He approached the men when they returned to shore, and found them in possession of a bag with a salmon in it.

Judge Fahy heard that the men immediately took responsibility, and were fully co-operative. Both men were convicted on one charge of the possession of an unlawfully caught salmon, and were fined €200 each plus €100 each for possession of the salmon. Costs of €250 each were also awarded against the men.

At the same sitting of Clifden District Court, Judge Fahy convicted a fish farm company for damage caused to a river bed in Co Galway.

Mannin Bay Salmon Company was before the court arising from an incident which occurred in July 2014, when fisheries Officers found the company had constructed a dam across the Bunowen River, which flows into Killary Harbour, in order to pump freshwater to a fish farm cage located offshore.

Significant damage was caused to the bed of the river, which is a spawning and nursery habitat for salmonids, and the dam was impeding the passage of fish.

The company pleaded guilty to the charge, and solicitor for the defence, Thomas Mannion, pleaded that the company had experienced an emergency situation whereby an outbreak of Amoebic Gill Disease threatened the stock of fish on the fish farm.

Amoebic Gill Disease can be treated by bathing fish in freshwater for a number of hours.

The defence acknowledged that the company knew it should not have dammed the river, but did so in order to avoid significant financial losses.

Convicting the company under Section 173 of the Fisheries Act 1959, Judge Fahy commented that protection of fish habitat was very important, but acknowledged that the company had been co-operative and had removed the dam and rectified the situation immediately once fisheries officers became aware of it. She fined the company €500 with €500 costs.

Published in Angling
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#Angling - At a sitting of Ballina Circuit Court on Thursday 19 February, Judge Petria McDonnell affirmed convictions against Gerry Bourke of Pollathomas, Ballina, Co Mayo.

In September 2014, Bourke had been convicted at Belmullet District Court for offences relating to an illegal netting operation on the Owenmore River near Bangor Erris in August 2013, and had appealed his conviction to the Circuit Court.

It should be noted that the commercial salmon draft net estuarine fishery on the Owenmore River was closed in 2014 because of declining salmon runs, and angling was restricted to strictly catch and release. This restriction remains unchanged for 2015.

Having heard the case in full, Judge Petria McDonnell affirmed the fines imposed in the District Court. She directed that the sum of €400 be paid in respect of each count, amounting to a total of €800, and also imposed total costs of €1,500, giving Bourke 18 months to pay.

In her concluding remarks, Judge McDonnell stated that fishing offences may be regarded as trivial by some, but pointed out that such offences were, in effect, theft and had to be taken seriously.

She commented further that Bourke’s approach to the case had cost a significant sum of money.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents of illegal fishing, as well as water pollution and invasive species, at 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24.

Published in Angling
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#fishing – At a sitting of Ballina Circuit Court on Friday, 20th February, Judge Petria McDonnell convicted three people of obstruction and assault on Fishery Officers, arising from an incident which occurred in August 2012.

Inland Fisheries Ireland was successful in an appeal brought before the Circuit Court, which reversed the decision reached in the District Court, Ballina, Co Mayo, on 24th February 2014, when all charges brought against the defendants had been dismissed on technical grounds.

Before the court were: Mrs Margaret Hopkins, charged with obstruction; Mr Declan Hopkins Jr., charged with obstruction and assault; and Mr John Ferguson, also charged with obstruction and assault. All the defendants have addresses in Ballina, Co Mayo.

The charges resulted from an incident which occurred on the 28th August 2012, when Fishery Officers seized an illegal salmon gill net from a public laneway to the rear of St Muredach's Terrace, Ballina. Evidence was given that upon attempting to leave the laneway, the officers were obstructed from doing so by Mrs Hopkins, who stood in front of the vehicle, banged her fists on the car, and demanded that the net be returned as it belonged to her. At that point the officers requested Garda assistance.

The court heard that Mrs Hopkins was quickly joined by Mr John Ferguson, who started shouting abusive language and behaving aggressively, and attempted to strike one of the officers with his fist. Evidence was given that Mr Declan Hopkins Jr. then arrived, and he also behaved in an aggressive manner, pushing one officer and attempting to punch another officer with his fist. It was also stated in court that Mr Ferguson, who had briefly left the scene of the incident, returned wielding a hammer, with which he threatened the officers.

Judge McDonnell heard evidence that Mr Ferguson swung the hammer at one officer, narrowly missing his head, and continued to wave the hammer around in a threatening manner. The court also heard that after a brief period the Gardaí arrived and directed the defendants to step aside and let the officers leave. The hammer and net were removed by the officers.

In her summing up, Circuit Court Judge McDonnell was in no doubt that the fishery officers were working within their powers and authority vested in them by the Fisheries Acts in seizing the net from the laneway. She was also satisfied that charges of obstruction and assault brought against the defendants had been proven.

The following penalties were imposed: John Ferguson was sentenced to 5 months in prison, suspended for 18 months on the charge of assault (charge of obstruction taken in to account) plus €1,000 expenses. He was also bound to the peace for 18 months, and had to enter a bond of €150. During that time he is not to approach any Fishery Officer in Mayo or Galway. He also has to engage with the probation service.

Declan Hopkins Jr. was fined €750 on the charge of assault (charge of obstruction taken into account) plus €1,500 expenses. Margaret Hopkins was fined €600 on the charge of obstruction plus €1,200 expenses.

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.

Published in Fishing
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#Angling - Craigavon Lakes will host this year's World Championships for Predator Bank Fishing with Lures, as the Lurgan Mail reports.

The event will attract angling competitors from as far afield as Russia and South Africa from 20 May, ahead of two training days, till the final day of the two-day competition on 24 May.

It's expected that both north and south lakes in the Armagh town, just south of Lough Neagh, will be used for the fishing of pike, perch and rainbow trout.

Using barbless hooks, anglers will net then return all catches to the water, with points scored for each fish netted regardless of size or weight.

Qualifiers for Ireland's team will begin next month, and the chosen few will join some 200 competitors from 20 countries at the world-class tournament.

The event also marks the first NCFFI-organised world championship since last summer's Feeder Worlds at Inniscarra, where Irish anglers claimed the silver medal.

The Lurgan Mail has more on the story HERE.

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#Angling - Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has launched a public consultation in preparation for the development of a National Angling Development Plan (NADP).

It is envisaged that the NADP will provide criteria, support and proposals to ensure the sustainability of Ireland’s angling resource and the continuing sustainable development of that resource to maximise the benefits – both social and economic – to Ireland on a prioritised basis.

Anglers, angling clubs, angling federations, fishery owners, community groups, angling service providers, State agencies and members of the public are being invited to make submissions.

Such submissions may include strategies for the development of angling, physical development projects, novice angler initiatives, evaluation criteria of fisheries status by species/discipline type (ie what makes a good fishery) and angling/fishery support service requirements. Submissions can be formulated on a national, regional or local basis as necessary.

An essential part of IFI's consideration will be how a development plan can be implemented, the resource requirements and how the support of fishery owners, anglers, State bodies and other stakeholders can be garnered so that the sector prospers.

Minister of State Joe McHugh, who has responsibility for the inland fisheries sector, said: “IFI have been tasked to formulate a comprehensive development plan on a national basis, the need for which clearly arises form the most complete study of the sector ever undertaken.

“I want to encourage a consultation process which is inclusive and which embraces angling federations, local authorities and other interested bodies but which also permeates right through to local club and community level.

"This is an opportunity to be heard and to contribute to strategy and policy for a sector than can further underpin development and employment in rural, costal and peripheral communities,” he added.

A recent study of the recreational angling sector in Ireland, carried out by international consultancy company Tourism Development International (TDI) and commissioned by IFI, estimated that recreational angling in Ireland contributes €755 million to the Irish economy annually.

The study showed that direct spending on angling in Ireland amounted to €555 million in 2012, with indirect and induced spending worth an additional €310 million. Following adjustments for imports and displacement, the overall economic impact of recreational angling in Ireland was estimated to be €755 million.

Recreational angling was also found to directly support 10,000 existing Irish jobs, many of which are located in the most peripheral and rural parts of the Irish countryside and along our coastline.

The study found that 406,000 people were involved in recreational angling in Ireland during 2012, with over 150,000 of these travelling from Northern Ireland and overseas.

Over a quarter of a million Irish adults (252,000) held a fishing rod in 2012, with sea angling along with salmon and brown trout angling seen as the most popular categories where domestic anglers are concerned.

The quality of the Irish angling product, the friendliness and hospitality of the Irish people and our outstanding scenery were cited among the principal attractions of Ireland as an international destination for recreational angling. The tourism angling spend is estimated at approximately €280 million on an annual basis.

IFI says the study highlights the need to continue to protect and nurture the inland fisheries resource and grow its potential contribution to the tourism sector in Ireland.

Further information on the consultation is available at A template for making submissions is also available on the website or alternatively one may be requested from local IFI offices.

Submissions must be made in writing, marked ‘NADP – public consultation’ and addressed to Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development, Inland Fisheries Ireland, 3044 Lake Drive, Citywest, Dublin 24 or by email to [email protected].

The deadline for receipt of submissions is 3pm on Tuesday 31 March 2015.

Published in Angling

#WaterfrontProperty - The Irish Examiner reports on a new arrival to the waterfront property market in Woodville House, a unique country home on the banks of the River Blackwater in Co Cork.

With an asking price of €625,000, this five-bay Victorian home between Fermoy and Mallow may be large, but owner Dr Brendan Cousins remarks on its simple maintenance.

And the four-bed main house with a self-contained two-bed annex comes with all the modern conveniences you might expect, like central heating, as well as others that might surprise, such as washbasins in the bedrooms.

But the real attraction, besides the sheltered 11-acre grounds retaining many of the old stone walls of outbuildings, is surely the salmon fishing - with local angling club members allowed access on a rotational basis.

The Irish Examiner has much more on this property HERE.

Published in Waterfront Property
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