Inland Fisheries Ireland staff honoured with road safety and fleet awards
Angling: Salmon angling season begins; Cushlough Bay slipway project completed
Michael Burke, logistics manager; Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO; and Pat Doherty, head of finance and logistics manager at Inland Fisheries Ireland
Staff from Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) have been recognised for two road safety and fleet awards. The Road Safety Authority of Ireland has recognised logistics manager Michael Burke with a “Leading Light” award for road safety in the public sector while the Freight Transport Association of Ireland has awarded IFI with a “Van Safe” award.
The awards follow a review of the organisation’s fleet across the country over the past year. Many of its over 300 staff use vehicles to carry out protection, environmental and research duties, often in rural and peripheral locations.
Ireland has 5,600km of coastline, 70,000km of rivers and streams, and 144,000 hectares of lakes and ponds. The organisation’s fleet consists of 200 vehicles including cars, car-vans, SUVs, panelled vans, 4x4 jeeps and trucks in addition to on-water vehicles.
Over the past year the organisation has introduced a driver manual for staff, rolled out driver safety training, implemented a fleet management system and retired vehicles from operational use.
As a result of these improvements, IFI is seeking to achieve a 24 per cent reduction in Co2 emissions, contributing towards its target of 33 per cent by 2020. Four new energy efficient electric vehicles will also be introduced in 2019 on a pilot basis and it will look to further manage vehicle utilisation and that driver safety remains a priority.
Burke said: “With the recent improvements we hope to improve our performance in this regard over the next 12 months. These awards recognise the work done by the organisation to date and I also hope they act as a catalyst to ensure continued success on both the safety and efficiency front.”
Access to Cushlough Bay improved
Ballinrobe and District Trout Anglers’ Association has completed a project which will greatly improve access to Lough Mask at Cushlough Bay. The project saw improvement works at the club’s car park to make it more safe and accessible for anglers.
This included resurfacing and realigning of the car park, and security fencing around the perimeter. The club was awarded €21,263 from the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) plan to carry out the work which is now completed.
Funding was granted in June, after the club completed all its corporate governance requirements, with the project at completion stage just a few weeks later. Additional funding of €6,641 was also awarded to upgrade the slipway.
The significant funding available to date has been exclusively capital funding and this has delivered important capital infrastructural and access projects, including the current project, under the investment initiative.
Kevin Egan, chairperson of Ballinrobe and District Anglers, said: “This is an outstanding project which we are delighted to complete. The funding from NSAD allowed us to upgrade the parking facility which will be of benefit for local anglers and tourist anglers.”
Salmon angling season begins
The salmon angling season gets under way tomorrow on a limited number of river and lake fisheries. Lough Gill (Sligo), Carrowmore Lake (Mayo) and the Drowes river (Donegal/Leitrim) continue their early season start and, for the sixth successive year, the Lower Liffey prevails on a catch-and-release basis.