Mulkear Life takes environmental award for conservation project in the Lower Shannon

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, with Irish Ladies’ Flyfishing captain Julie Gerry (left) and team member Jenny Casey at the photocall in Government Buildings to acknowledge their win in the 2013 Home International

An Taoiseach, Enda Kenny, with Irish Ladies’ Flyfishing captain Julie Gerry (left) and team member Jenny Casey at the photocall in Government Buildings to acknowledge their win in the 2013 Home International


THE Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (Ciwem) presented the Irish Environment Award for 2013 to Mulkear Life at a ceremony in Co Cork last weekend. Mulkear Life is a European Commission Life+Nature project working to restore degraded habitats which form part of the Lower Shannon Special Area of Conservation.

The €1.75 million project, which commenced in 2009, is led by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) who act as coordinating beneficiary and work alongside the Office of Public Works and Limerick County Council, as well as a range of stakeholders who support the project.

In granting the award, the institute said MulkearLife is one of the most important river restoration and nature conservation projects ever undertaken in Ireland and provides a conservation blueprint for future integrated catchment management.

The project centred on conservation and habitat enhancement for Atlantic salmon, sea lamprey and European otter, and covered an area of 650sq km across Limerick and Tipperary.

Additional work included control of invasive riparian plant species and creation of an environmental awareness as a resource for all.

MulkearLife manager Ruairí Ó Conchúir said success of the project was dependent on a partnership process and strong community links through an environmental educational programme within local schools.

Suzanne Dempsey, chair of Ciwem-Irl, said she was delighted with the contribution of MulkearLife in bringing community and government together to plan, manage and enhance the conservation status of the Lower Shannon SAC.

Dr Ciaran Byrne, IFI chief executive, thanked Ciwem for the award and especially those involved in the catchment management grouping and local farmers.

For details, ee or call 061-300238.

Outstanding achievements
In recognition of their outstanding achievements throughout the year, Taoiseach Enda Kenny recently invited the Irish Ladies’ Flyfishing Team (Ilfa) and Irish Youths’ Flyfishing Team to a photocall session at Government Buildings in Dublin.

On the day, teams and managers assembled in the Merrion Hotel before crossing to Government Buildings. In the courtyard both teams lined up, smartly attired in Irish team uniforms, to be photographed and individually spoken to by An Taoiseach.

It was then back to the five-star Merrion Hotel to meet the Minister of State for Natural Resources, Fergus O’Dowd, and the Minister of State for Sport, Michael Ring.

In July, the Tafi youth team took silver on the world stage of the Fips-Mouche Championships, the first Irish team to win a medal in this category. As a cross-Border initiative, the five-day event proved successful on lakes and rivers in Counties Antrim, Tyrone, Armagh, Monaghan, Meath and Louth.

For the women, it was gold all the way as they swept the board in this year’s Home International on Caragh Lake, Glencar, Co Kerry, with convincing wins over England, Wales and Scotland.

Special thanks were extended to Ilfa-member Julie McKeever for organising this event and to the Taoiseach, Ministers and teams for making it a day to remember.

Wexford fundraiser
An open shore competition will be held this Sunday (December 15th) on Kilgorman/Clones beaches, Co Wexford, as a fundraiser for St Catherine’s Association, Newcastle, Co Wicklow.

Check-in at Kilgorman is at 9am, with fishing between 11.30am- 3.30pm. Entry fee is €10 for seniors, €5 juniors with €5 extra for pool. All baits allowed. Monies raised will go to St Catherine’s who provide education, training, residential/respite care for the intellectually disabled.

A good turnout is expected and prizes will be donated by Southside Angling, Viking Tackle, Gotcha Angling and Courtown Angling. Pre-entry to Micheál Quinn (086- 2675382 and Joe Byrne (087-661 3145.