At a sitting of Castleblaney District Court on 10th February 2016, Judge Denis McLoughlin convicted five men for coarse and pike fishing offences at lakes in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan. Fines issued totalled €1,250 and costs were awarded to Inland Fisheries Ireland to the amount of €5,320.
Mr. Rimantus Janusonis was fishing at Lough Muckno in Castleblaney, Co. Monaghan, on 1st May 2015. He was found to be fishing with three rods, exceeding the legal limit which stipulates that a person may not fish with more than two rods at a time, and was apprehended by Inland Fisheries Ireland Officer Ronan O’Brien. Mr. Artur Moisjenkov was fishing at Drumgristin Lake in Co. Monaghan on 14th June 2015 and was acting suspiciously. Officer Ronan O’Brien found six coarse fish in Mr. Moisjenkov’s possession, one of them measuring 30 centimetres in length.
On 4th July 2015, at Drumillard Lake, Co. Monaghan, Mr. Gazda Henryk and Mr. Jan Pieczykolan were found to have pike and bream over the legal size limits in their possession by two private waterkeepers from Castleblaney Anglers Club. Mr. Henryk and Mr. Pieczykolan were subsequently apprehended by Inland Fisheries Ireland Officer Dermot Wynne for having fish over the legal size limit.
On 25th July 2015, an individual was detected by private waterkeepers at Concra Wood in Lough Muckno, Co. Monaghan. Mr. Andrei Ion Ursache was found to have 22 perch in his possession with three over the size limit of 25 centimetres. He was apprehended by Inland Fisheries Ireland Officer Seamus Kelledy for exceeding the limit of four coarse fish in his possession.
None of the defendants were present at a sitting of Castleblaney District Court on 10th February 2016. The cases had been adjourned a number of times, following the reissuing of summons. Judge McLoughlin convicted the individuals as follows:
- Rimantus Janusonis, Drogheda, Co. Louth, for breach of Byelaw no. 595 of 1977, which states that a person may fish with not more than two rods at any time.
- Gazda Henryk, Dundalk, Co. Louth, was convicted for breach of the pike Byelaw no. 809 of 2006, which states that it is prohibited to kill any pike greater than 50 centimetres in length.
- Andrei Ion Ursache, Drogheda, Co. Louth; Mr. Artur Moisjenkov, Drogheda, Co. Louth; and Mr. Jan Pieczykolan, Dundalk, Co. Louth were convicted for breaches of the coarse fish Byelaw no. 806 of 2006, for taking and killing more than four coarse fish per day.
Judge McLoughlin fined each defendant €250 and ordered the payment of €1,064 each of total costs to Inland Fisheries Ireland to be paid within four months.
Mr. Brian Beckett, Director of Inland Fisheries Ireland Dublin, said: “I would like express IFI’s appreciation for the assistance of two waterkeepers Mr. Patrick McArdle and Mr. Micky O’Connor, who detected and followed up on some of these incidents with IFI staff in the Dundalk District. This serves as a great example of the vigilance, commitment and team work in operation between Inland Fisheries Ireland and private waterkeepers in protecting and conserving our valuable fisheries resource.”
Dr Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, noted: “Lough Muckno, Drumgristin and Drumillard Lake, along with many others, make Castleblaney in Co. Monaghan the jewel in the crown for pike and coarse fishing in Ireland’s North East. They provide an important recreational amenity to both local and overseas anglers as well as important match fishing venues.
“Angling generates over €830 million to the Irish economy every year and illegal activity and environmental crime jeopardises the potential of our wonderful natural resource to sustain stocks and the social and economic benefits derived from them.”
Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the general public to report incidents - 1890 34 74 24 or 1890 FISH 24. This phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.
For more information, visit www.fisheriesireland.ie.