At a sitting of Galway District Court on 7th June 2016, Judge John King convicted two Galway fishermen of the non-payment of fines issued by fishery officers, and ordered a third man to pay a donation on the same charge.
Mr. Leslie Sammon with an address at Ballinasloe, Co. Galway, was before the court in connection with an incident in July 2015. Mr. Sammon had been issued a fixed penalty notice of €150 for failing to complete a logbook upon taking a salmon from the Clare River, Claregalway. Mr. Sammon failed to pay the fine, and subsequently was required to appear in court. He was ordered to pay €200 to the RNLI by Judge King, who agreed to a donation in lieu of a conviction.
Mr. Alekseys Minkevics with an address at Knocknacarra, Co. Galway, was also summonsed to appear before the court on June 7thin connection with an incident on the Clare River on 30th September 2015. Mr. Minkevics, who failed to appear in court, had been observed fishing with live perch, in breach of fisheries legislation. He failed to pay the fine within the required timeframe. Judge King convicted Mr. Minkevics and ordered him to pay €300, as well as €600 in costs. His fishing equipment was also ordered to be forfeited.
The third man prosecuted was Mr. Viktor Buss with an address at Headford Road, Galway, who was charged with a breach of a coarse fish byelaw on 5th October 2015. Mr. Buss was found in possession of 32 coarse fish, which is eight times the legal limit of four fish. He was issued with a fixed penalty notice of €150 which he failed to pay. Judge King recorded a conviction against Mr. Buss, who did not appear in court, and issued a fine of €300 with costs amounting to €600. His fishing equipment was also forfeited.
Commenting on the case, Dr. Ciaran Byrne, CEO of Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Inland Fisheries Ireland staff are committed to protecting our fish stocks. Where illegal fishing is detected, minor offences can be dealt with through fixed penalty notices, also known as on-the-spot fines. However, offenders who fail to pay their fines can and will be prosecuted through the courts. These cases demonstrate that illegal fishing does not pay. ”
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.