Fishermen who ‘found’ nets on the Shannon Estuary avoid convictions

David Hurley

Reporter:

David Hurley

Newcastle West Court was told that fishery officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland were on duty at Loughill when they saw the two men in a dinghy through a telescope

Newcastle West Court was told that fishery officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland were on duty at Loughill when they saw the two men in a dinghy through a telescope

TWO men who were caught net fishing on the Shannon Estuary have avoided criminal convictions after they paid the costs associated with their prosecution, writes David Hurley.

Michael Moran, with an address at Dernish Avenue, Foynes, and Gerry Frawley, with an address at Danesfort, Rathkeale, were ‘caught’ fishing near Loughill on July 3, 2017.

During a hearing in March, Newcastle West Court was told that fishery officers from Inland Fisheries Ireland were on duty at Loughill 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 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 who added that his clients had “found” the nets.

Noting the defendants previous good record and having been informed by solicitor Dermot O’Donovan that they had discharged the costs of Inland Fisheries Ireland, Judge Larkin agreed to strike out the charges.