“It was more a day for the beach,” was a phrase overheard on more than one occasion at last Sunday’s Coiste Siamsa open fly fishing competition on Lough Sheelin. Yet 110 anglers converged on Kilnahard Pier, with virtually no wind and plenty of sunshine, determined to make the most of the end-of-season competition.
The only decent wave came with the constant movement of boats scampering in search of a whiff of wind with illusions appearing in the distance. Voices (and conversations) between anglers and big fish splashing nearby, no, perhaps 1,000 meters away, became the order of the day.
Now in its 34th year, this Garda competition started in the Cavan/Monaghan area as a low-key affair within the force. Down through the years it progressed to an open event, and is now firmly established. "In our first year we had eight or nine taking part. Now look at today's attendance with over 100!" founder member Pat Foley, said.
Sheelin is renowned for its quality and size of fish and last Sunday was no exception. Yes, it’s true, only five fish made the scales but given the circumstances, this was to be expected. Of the five in question though, three exceeded 1.8kg (4lb) and two over 1.3kg (3lb).
Irvine Marshall from Kesh, Co Fermanagh, came out tops with a cracker of 1.88kg, caught in the shallows off Inchicup Island on a Green Dabbler. It's been a good year for Marshall having earlier won the pairs' competition on Melvin.
Over an enjoyable dinner in Crover House Hotel, we learned that Dessie McEntee, main organiser of the competition, is to step down after 15 years in the chair. Pat Foley and Jack Spratt paid a fitting tribute to him, followed by a rapturous applause from the anglers.
Results: 1, I Marshall, 1.88kg; 2, O McCormack, 1.86kg; 3, B Shields, 1.81kg; 4, P Boyle, 1.37kg; 5, T Coyle, 1.36kg.
IFI funding schemes
Over the past five years, €3.4 million was awarded to angling projects by
Inland Fisheries Ireland
(IFI) and the organisation is now looking for a response on funding of future schemes.
The subsidy is available for development and conservation projects through a number of programmes including the Salmon Conservation Fund and Midlands Fisheries Fund which already saw a redistribution of income gained from permits and licences.
IFI is looking to consult with previous recipients alongside interested parties on whether the programmes are meeting requirements and if any changes could be made to improve them. A total of €3,453,354 from the Corporate Plan was distributed to angling initiatives through funding programmes.
Suzanne Campion, IFI's Head of Business Development, said: "As we are now embarking on a new chapter, it is important to evaluate the success of these initiatives. We are calling on those interested in applying for funding to take our short online survey and let us know what is working and what could be improved."
The survey is open to angling clubs, commercial fishermen, fishery promoters, community and local development groups as well as private individuals. Participants will be entered into a draw to win one of three €50 tackle vouchers.
To complete the survey, which will remain live until November 8th, see fisheriesireland.ie/fundingsurvey.
Brendan Gleeson in Howth
World-renowned actor Brendan Gleeson was at Howth Yacht Club last week for the annual ladies lunch in aid of Howth RNLI. The sold-out event was attended by 150 local ladies and raised over €8,000.
In a thought-provoking speech about the work of the RNLI, he spoke about the lessening of anxiety and sense of reassurance a community has, knowing that the lifeboat will come to their aid if needed. He praised the volunteers and described them as noble, selfless, strong minded and compassionate.
“The RNLI is an incredible organisation. I’m full of admiration for the work that they do. It’s an honour to be here today, and it’s great to live in Howth among a bunch of heroes,” he said.
Conviction for illegal fishing
At a recent sitting of Galway District Court, Judge
man of illegal fishing and obstruction of fisheries officers on the
Judge Keane accepted the evidence and imposed fines totalling €900, as well as costs of €500. She also made a Forfeiture Order in respect of all items seized on the day.