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Balance Between Human Demand & Environmental Collapse

Proinsias Barrett reflects on our recent article relating to the introduction of new Bye-Laws on the River Suir.

Proinsias states, “I wonder is this in response to declining catch numbers in recent years? I wouldn’t know a lot about angling in Ireland today except what I see and hear about it out west. Fishing on the Corrib is big business in Galway city during the season and the anglers braving the fast flowing Corrib in waist high water are an added attraction to the curious gawking visitors.

I landed a beautiful rainbow trout at Lady’s Well in Thurles, as a lad of 11 or 12, with a ‘Spinner,‘ I bought up at John Freeman’s shop in Bothairnanaomh. Then expert for a day, the camera came out and the trout was then cleaned, stuffed and baked, delicious!

fishingUp in Mayo on the Moy River at Ballina, the fishing is also big tourism business with people paying a substantial fee to fly fish for salmon. In the centre of
the town is a part of the river known as the Ridge Pool, where the river bed dramatically declines into a deep pool and the salmon tend to congregate there, possibly a temporary reprieve on their struggle up river to spawn. Here, as in Galway centre, you will see the big-guns casting fly.
An old work colleague from Ballina by the name of Ford mentioned the fact that ‘word in the town‘ had been that the catch rate is down considerably over the last number of years, and that the angling tourists weren’t getting value for money. This story was repeated in Galway five or six years ago, I don’t know if it has improved.

Anyone who has been remotely interested in Irish fisheries lately (I know our politicians are,) will know about the west of Ireland’s battle over the last 25 years to halt the rapid decline in wild fish stocks, particularly Salmon, Trout and Eel’s, fish which migrate, spending their lives moving between fresh and salt water environments. The reasons for the decline cannot be pinpointed exactly and though, as I said earlier, I am no authority on the matter, nor have I been consciously reading up on the latest information, it will suffice to say that the problem seems to stem from a combination of adverse affects, all with negative consequences, for everyone. We neglected the water quality of our rivers and tributaries for too long, many angling associations and voluntary groups across the country did their best for years and lobbied hard for protection.  This latter, combined with pressure from Brussels relating to water quality and habitat directives, finally got a concerted effort going in Ireland and many of our rivers and lakes have improved considerably, many others however have changed irrevocably.

Continue reading Balance Between Human Demand & Environmental Collapse


Angling Bye-Law Welcomed For River Suir Tipperary

PikeRecreational angling on the River Suir in Co Tipperary will change following a Bye-Law, sought by a majority of anglers, has been signed into law.

From April 12th, 2103, fishing for salmon and sea trout (over 40cm) on the River Suir, is prohibited where the use of worms, prawn, shrimp or any other crustacean or their artificial forms are used as bait and any fish hooks, other than single Barbless hooks up to and including May 11th, 2013.

From May 12th to September 30th 2013 the Bye-Law provides for a bag limit of 5 fish for the season, subject to a daily bag limit of 1 fish. Anglers must use a single Barbless hook once their daily or season bag limit has been reached. The exclusion on the use of worms, prawn, shrimp and any other crustacean as bait, will continue until the season ends.

Inland Fisheries Ireland would like to point out that this bye-law is applicable to the 2013 season only.

Best Brown Trout River in Europe

Angling for Salmon on the River Suir attracts many visiting anglers annually. It is hoped that this measure will ensure even better angling for the many local and visiting anglers that come to fish the Suir, which already this year has been rated the “Best Brown Trout River in Europe.”

The rule governing this new seasonal Bye-Law can be downloaded HERE.


Thurles Hosts International Hurling Festival

Thurles is to become the host for the International Hurling Festival 2012 which will take place on Friday 13th July and Saturday 14th July 2012. The festival will coincide with the Munster Hurling Final weekend with the Munster Final being held on the Sunday 15th July. Players and fans from Ireland and all over the world will descend on Thurles for this weekend Festival.

The GAA, Thurles Sarsfields GAA Club, Shannon Development and other regional partnerships and bodies have organised the two day event to serve up a feast of hurling activity with clubs and teams competing for a range of cups and silverware culminating in the Munster GAA Senior Hurling Final on 15th  July (venue TBC).

Speaking at the official launch of the event Liam Ó Néill of Uachtarán Chumann Lúthchleas Gael, said, “The International Hurling Festival of events scheduled will really add to what is always an exciting weekend for hurling enthusiasts, the occasion of the Munster Senior Hurling Final.” Liam went on to say, “It is hugely encouraging to see the number of clubs from our overseas network involved in the hurling festivities and I have no doubt that the organising committee, host club, Thurles Sarsfields and all the players and officials involved will derive massive satisfaction from an initiative which has the potential to occupy a place in our calendar on an annual basis. ”

John Enright, chairman of the organising committee said, “The festival is an effort by the Thurles Sarsfield club to aid the development of hurling as an international game while at the same time stimulating the local economy by attracting teams and visitors to the area. Hurling is unique to Ireland and has a huge largely un-tapped potential to boost tourism to our country in these difficult financial times.”

The European Hurling and Camogie Championships Finals will take place on Saturday 14th July. Teams from Switzerland, Sweden, Luxembourg, Netherlands, France, Belgium and Spain amongst others will compete over the course of the day to become the 2012 European Champions. The festival will also showcase the International Camán Abú Tournament for Social And Recreational Hurling which just shows how hurling is diversifying and is encouraging more people to play it.

This festival should be a great success and a welcome boost to the Thurles economy. It is especially appropriate given that Thurles is the European Town of Sport 2012.

For a full list of events and more information visit thurlessarsfields.gaa.ie and justplay.gaa.ie.


Upperchurch Sixth Annual Walking Weekend

Take a walk on the 'Wild Side,' in Upperchurch this weekend.

The scenic upland village of Upperchurch will celebrate their sixth successful annual ‘Walking Weekend,’ on this Saturday and Sunday, with a variety of walks to suit all levels of fitness.

For the first time the event will feature a leisurely family cycle over 25 km.  Other social event will take place over the weekend also, including traditional music sessions and set dancing lessons, not to mention good old sing alongs and a chance to meet old friends and make new ones.

A reception tonight (Friday) will feature interesting and entertaining speakers, covering a variety of topics. Gearóid Fitzgibbon will give an account of his humanitarian work in Palestine working for the U.N., while Thurles man, Tom Carey, will discuss and demonstrate essential cycle maintenance. Other speakers will discuss and show photographic slides related to their varied mountain walking experiences on Kilimanjaro, Ben Nevis, the Atlas Mountains and Mont Blanc.

Many successful entries from the primary and post primary school’s poster competition will also be on display over this weekend with winners being announced tonight.

This year the longest and most difficult walk will be the 18km “Hills of Upperchurch Route,” taking place on Saturday morning, beginning  at 10.00 am sharp. This walk is only suitable for very fit experienced walkers and features several steep climbs and a rope assisted descent. But of course there are also eight other less difficult walks which can also be enjoyed, by the less “fleet of foot,”as part of this most enjoyable of upland weekends.

If you like good company, chat, an event which can be shared by all the family, easy exercise, great entertainment and a personal challenge, then Upperchurch is the place to be this weekend.

Events Program in Upperchurch this weekend

Friday Nov. 11th. 8.30 pm: Reception and official opening in Upperchurch Hall. Guest Speakers. Poster competition entries winners announced.

Sat. Nov. 12th. 10.00 am: Hills of Upperchurch Walk. (18 km -Time approx 6 hrs.)  12.00 noon. Red Hugh and Knockalough Walks –  6 km and 10 km – Time approx 2hrs and 3 hrs.  12.30 pm. Eamon an Chnoic Loop. (8 km – Time approx 2 ½ hrs.) Entertainment: 5.00 pm. Set dancing lessons.  9.30 pm. Traditional music session.

Sun. Nov 13th. 11.00 am: Lowland Mystery Tour. Starting Rosmult on the Thurles-Upperchurch road. (14 km – Time Approx  4½ hrs.)
12.00 noon: Red Hugh and Knockalough Walks. 12.30 pm: Eamon an Chnoic Loop. 12.30 pm: Birchill Nature Trail. Start Rosmult.
1.00 pm: Begins the 25 km Leisurely Family Cycle. Starting in Upperchurch. Note: Cycling Helmets compulsory and all children must be accompanied by adult.

Registration Fees:  All walks and the Family Cycle are:-  Adults €10, Children €5 euro. Costs include complimentary refreshments at all events.

Enjoy your visit, but remember, as in all walking adventures, do bring stout walking shoes, a camera, suitable rain wear, a snack and fluid.


Two-Mile Borris Super Casino Plan Axed

The Justice minister Alan Shatter has announced today that the proposed super-casino for Two-Mile Borris, near Thurles, will not now go ahead. The minister said that it was a Cabinet level decision and that they have decided that there is no need for a resort-style casino in Ireland at the moment. The minister went on to say that the Cabinet also agreed that “there is no social benefit in a resort of this scale” and that the proposed super-casino plan for Two-Mile Borris was far too big.

However, the Justice minister Alan Shatter did also mention that “new legislation will provide for more modest-sized establishments” to be established under new and up-coming gambling legislation. This would seem to suggest that a casino could still go ahead at the proposed Two-Mile Borris site, but with strict limits on the number of tables and square footage allowed.

As recently as June this year An Bord Pleanála had given the go-ahead for a casino, a 500 bedroom hotel and a racetrack/golf facility at the Two-Mile Borris site, but with today’s announcement it would seem that the future of the super-casino, part of this project, will be in serious doubt now.