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Ballina Circuit Court Affirms Convictions For Fisheries-Related Offences

3rd March 2015
Ballina Circuit Court Affirms Convictions For Fisheries-Related Offences

#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
MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy

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MacDara Conroy is a contributor covering all things on the water, from boating and wildlife to science and business

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