June 21, 2021


first_imgA JUDGE has ruled against anglers involved in a long-running dispute over a Co Donegal fishery.The anglers had been fishing the Gweebarra for a number of years until new rules came into force in 2007.But a judgement in favour of the Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has sounded the deathknell for anglers hopes of being recognised as having “rights” to fish. In a statement to Donegal Daily, the IFI said Ms Justice Laffoy’s delivered judgement in the High Court on the first module of the trial in the case of Inland Fisheries Ireland (“IFI”) v Peadar O’ Baoill and Others had ruled in its favour.The organisation said the trial was sought by IFI to allow key issues to be determined in this first module with the objective of saving court time and costs. The module related to the most important sections of the fishery, parts of which are in State ownership and part private. All these sections are managed by IFI and include the famous “Mayo Pool”.Said the IFI statement: “The key claim by the Defendants and others opposed to the new fishing arrangements introduced on the Gweebarra by the Northern Regional Fisheries Board (now IFI) in 2007 (following agreement with other stakeholders), was that they had acquired rights to fish freely without permit or other restriction by virtue of fishing in this manner for many years prior to 2007.“They claimed they could continue to fish without the need for a permit from IFI on behalf of the State or private owners, as appropriate. If such rights were upheld it would have made the arrangements introduced in 2007 unworkable as the rod management plan which was central to the changes was dependent on regulation by issue of permits.“The decision on this key claim for any section of the fishery had application throughout the freshwater fishery as if there were such rights, they would affect all owners and all sections. However the Judgement was emphatic in rejecting the Defendants’ claim in that regard stating-“The reality is that the defendants have not established any right, public, or otherwise, to fish in the freshwater part of the Gweebarra River, including the part thereof the subject of this module”.The IFI said the questions to be determined by the Court in this module and the answers given by the Judge were as follows-(a) Does the plaintiff (Inland Fisheries Ireland) have the right to manage, control and regulate access to the lands marked in yellow (State owned) and green (Privately owned) on the relevant mapAnswer: Yes(b) Is the plaintiff (Inland Fisheries Ireland) entitled to the reliefs sought against the defendants insofar as the lands at (a) above are concerned?Answer: Yes(c) Are the defendants entitled to the reliefs set out in the counterclaim insofar as the lands at (a) above are concerned?Answer: NoIn short, said the IFI, it succeeded and the Defendants failed on all issues which were the subject of this module and, as already outlined above, the rejection of their claim to have acquired rights to fish without the permit of the owners extends to the entire freshwater part of the Gweebarra.The IFI went on: “The statements on behalf of the Donegal Game Angling Federation as reported in the edition of the Donegal News on the 21st December are therefore quite incomprehensible in the circumstances given they claim among other things that the Judgement confirmed the Defendants’ rights to fish the Gweebarra when the exact opposite is the case.“In her concluding remarks, the Judge urged the parties to avoid further expense by endeavouring to resolve the remainder of the dispute by local agreement and stated that “the Gweebarra River is a precious resource, which requires to be protected for this and future generations”- a view which IFI fully endorses.“In that context IFI repeats it’s previously stated position that it has absolutely no wish to be involved in proceedings of this nature and remains committed to the protection of the Gweebarra fishery in its entirety, the public portion of which is a state asset. It welcomes any initiative which will allow for sustainable management of the fishery into the future. It is happy therefore to seek to resolve the remainder of the dispute, but such would have to be found in the context of existing legal agreements with other stakeholders.”ANGLERS LOSE LONG-RUNNING LEGAL CASE OVER FISHING RIGHTS ON GWEEBARRA was last modified: December 23rd, 2012 by BrendaShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ANGLERS LOSE LONG-RUNNING LEGAL CASE OVER FISHING RIGHTS ON GWEEBARRAlast_img

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