Caught in a net: Fishermen fined at Limerick court

Maria Flannery

Reporter:

Maria Flannery

Two who were ‘caught’ by authorities while out fishing with illegal nets have appeared at Newcastle West court

Two who were ‘caught’ by authorities while out fishing with illegal nets have appeared at Newcastle West court

TWO MEN who were ‘caught’ by authorities while out fishing with illegal nets have appeared at Newcastle West court.

Michael Moran, with an address at Dernish Avenue, Foynes, and Gerry Frawley, with an address at Danesfort, Rathkeale, were fishing near Loughill last July 3.

Fishery officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland were on duty at Loughill near the Shannon Estuary when they saw the two men in a dinghy through a telescope.

The two men, who are welders, fled the scene once they reached dry land, the court heard, but the fishery officers managed to apprehend the pair.

The court heard that there were salmon scales at the scene but no fish. The illegal net they were using, sized between 36 and 40 metres, was confiscated.

Two dinghies were also found at the scene.

Solicitor for the defendants Michael O’Donnell said that they are hobby fishermen.

“It was a warm summer day, they did drop a net,” conceded the solicitor.

“They didn’t catch anything. Their original intention was to catch mullet. They caught nothing – in fact, they got caught themselves,” said Mr O’Donnell, a comment which drew giggles from the benches.

Judge Mary Larkin adjourned the case until May 1 to allow the two parties to pay costs of €318 each to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Judge Larkin warned: “Fishing is a fairly innocuous pastime, but not with nets.”