Minister of State Conor Lenihan today announced he had reviewed the approach to resolving the barrier to fish passage at Fermoy. Minister Lenihan said, “Since taking up responsibility for inland fish I have been anxious that progress be made to deal with problems of fish passage and have been actively engaged with the rowing club in terms of how their needs can also be met.” The Minister said he “had decided and had instructed the Town Council to restore the existing fish ladder at Fermoy Weir as a matter of urgency”.
Minister Lenihan said that in light of his discussions with the European Commission and the Attorney General he had come to the conclusion that the repair of the existing fish ladder is the appropriate immediate action. The Minister went on to say that all involved must appreciate that Ireland is a committed member of the European Union and to meeting its responsibilities under EU Law, including obligations in relation to biodiversity under the Habitats directive. He made clear that the impact of the repairs on fish migration will have to be closely monitored and if the required improvement in fish migration isn’t achieved, he won’t hesitate to direct the Town Council to undertake further major works.
The Minister said he appreciated the need to remedy the problems of barrier to fish migration at Fermoy had been contentious, but he hoped the decision he has now made will enable rapid progress and he urged the Council to expedite the repairs and to engage actively with fisheries board to monitor their impact.