Row over renewal of fishing licence at Bleach Lough

Caitriona and Ger Griffin protesting at the lake in October 2013
A local family is seeking to have the renewal of the Bleach Lough anglers licence blocked in a two-year-old row over their son being banned from the lake.

A local family is seeking to have the renewal of the Bleach Lough anglers licence blocked in a two-year-old row over their son being banned from the lake.

Ger and Caitriona Griffin want an apology from the anglers group over the incident which occurred in June 2013.

They raised the issue again this week at a meeting of the Adare Rathkeale municipal area at which the renewal of the group’s licence was up for discussion.

Ms Griffin alleged that her son, who was 15 at the time, was removed from the lake by members of the anglers group for allegedly using two rods – a claim he denied.

“Two members [of the Bleach Lough Anglers] threw my son off the lake for using two rods, which he was not doing,” she told this week’s meeting.

Her husband, Ger Griffin, was subsequently banned from the lake after he mounted a protest in defence of his son. Mr Griffin parked his car at the entrance to the lake, blocking access for a number of hours.

Later that year, in October, the family mounted another protest at the entrance to the lake demanding that the club provide them with CCTV footage of the incident, which they believed would prove their son was telling the truth.

Ms Griffin explained that, when the club refused to provide the footage, the Griffins took their case to the Ombudsman for Children who advised them to seek it under data protection legislation.

She told this Tuesday’s meeting that they had since received this footage which, she claimed, showed her son Luke was telling the truth.

Now, she wants a written apology from the Bleach Lough Anglers before the family will lift their objection to the renewal of the licence.

The family also want the group to remove their ban on Ger Griffin using the lake.

Local councillors and council officials have met separately with the Griffin family and the Bleach Lough Anglers over the past month to discuss the issue. However, despite these attempts, it appears that the dispute is no closer to a resolution.

At Tuesday’s meeting, councillors agreed to defer a decision on the licence until the next meeting in September.

Cllr Stephen Keary stressed the need for the matter to be resolved before the matter comes before the council again in September.

Cllr Kevin Sheahan pointed out that it was not the council’s role to adjudicate on a dispute between the two sides and suggested a dispute resolution process should be put in place to resolve the issue.

Calls to a number of members of the Bleach Lough Anglers committee had not been returned at the time of printing.