Councillor calls for Limerick’s ‘great fishing tradition’ to be brought back to life

Nick Rabbitts

Reporter:

Nick Rabbitts

Plassey Bank was a popular spot for anglers. Now Cllr Marian Hurley wants support to encourage them back to the banks of the Shannon

Plassey Bank was a popular spot for anglers. Now Cllr Marian Hurley wants support to encourage them back to the banks of the Shannon

LIMERICK councillor Marian Hurley wants the great tradition of fishing on the Shannon to be resurrected.

The number of fishermen using the river has dwindled in recent years, with EU directives severely restricting what local pleasure fishers can catch.

Now, Cllr Hurley believes they should be allowed to catch a limited amount.

The Fine Gael member brought the matter up at this month’s metropolitan district meeting in a motion, saying she was inspired to do so after hearing testimonials of fishermen at a recent launch of a documentary on the history of Britain and Ireland’s longest river.

“A lot of people were not working over the years took up fishing. Now they are being told as a conservation measure, they are restricted. I think it’s such a shame. From May on, you’d have fisherman cycling from all over to fish.​ It’s a lovely pastime, and i think it should be looked at again,” she said.

At present, Cllr ​Hurley believes fishermen are concerned that when they do go out, they run the risk of a fine. ”We need some sort of a right put in there to allow them to catch a couple of dozen fishes a year,” she added.

After Cllr Michael Sheahan seconded the motion, Sinn Fein councillor John Costelloe said: “I know of a man fined €400 for fishing just near here. But it seems like French and Japanese crews can come to our seas to pillage and rape our supplies.”

The matter was referred to the environment committee.