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Connacht Tribune

Anglers fear invasive species will damage west’s lakes

Denise McNamara

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An angling website claims there are covert plans by fishermen from the UK and Ireland to introduce three species of non-native fish into western waterways that have been designated wild brown trout fisheries.

The post on the Irish Pike Society Facebook page states that the group plans to introduce chub, barbel and catfish in the next fortnight to rivers and lakes, some of which are regarded as the world’s top destination for salmon and trout anglers.

The post, which has since been removed, states: “A group of lads from the UK and Ireland have collaborated together and are intending to introduce chub, barbel and catfish in the various rivers and lakes on the west coast, including the Corrib, Mask, Conn, Clare River, Robe River and the Moy with fish to arrive as early as the next fortnight”.

Inland Fisheries Ireland said it was aware of the post that was uploaded on the society’s Facebook page.

“Inland Fisheries Ireland is always monitoring the resource to ensure protection against invasive species. Inland Fisheries Ireland has a confidential hotline number to enable members of the public to report incidents and this phone line is designed to encourage the reporting of incidents of illegal fishing, water pollution and invasive species.”

The threat is the latest move in an ongoing row between anglers who want to keep the western fisheries free of pike and other non-native fish and those who feel discriminated against by advocates for trout and salmon.

The record for a pike caught on Lough Derg measuring an enormous five feet eight inches – taller than the average man – was more than 90lbs.

Colin Wolfe, chairman of the Oughterard Anglers & Boatmen Association, said it was believed locally that pike were introduced illegally a decade ago into the Owenriff, a vital spawning river for Atlantic salmon, Corrib trout and the Freshwater Pearl Mussel off Oughterard and a major tributary of Lough Corrib.

Owenriff trout account for approximately 15% of the stock in the Corrib.

Local anglers claim the numbers of trout and salmon has since dropped dramatically as they are preyed on by the predatory pike before they have the chance to mature and swim across the Corrib system.

Angling tourist numbers have decreased considerably due to low stock numbers in the western lakes.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Connacht Tribune

Gardaí investigate fatal Carraroe crash

Enda Cunningham

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A man in his 30s has died following a road crash in Carraroe in the early hours of this morning.

At 3.50am, Gardaí and emergency services attended at a single car collision on a minor road.

The driver of the car, a man in his 30s, was pronounced dead at the scene a short time later. A passenger in the car, a male in his 30s, was taken by ambulance to Galway University Hospital. His injuries are not thought to be life threatening.

The road is currently closed and local diversions are in place. Garda forensic collision investigators will examine the crash site this morning.

Anyone with information is asked to contact Salthill Garda Station (091) 514 720 the Garda Confidential Line 1800 666 111 or any Garda Station.

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Connacht Tribune

Wake-up call as United are pummelled by lively Athlone

Keith Kelly

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Galway United substitute Wilson Waweru who scored a consolation goal in their 3-1 First Division defeat to Athlone Town on Friday night.

Athlone Town 3

Galway United 1

IT turned out to be a Bad Friday for Galway United in Athlone as they were outthought, outfought and outplayed by a home side that deserved a far greater reward than a two-goal victory.

All the damage was done in the first-half, with the home side scoring three goals without reply in a 14-minute spell that left the visitors visibly shell-shocked and in danger of shipping an absolute hammering.

United manager, John Caufield, described the first-half as the worst United display since he took charge at the club midway through last season, but it was worse than that: this was 2011 Sean Connor bad (one win in 40 matches), it was 2001 Dave Connell bad (one win in 13).

Both of those seasons ended in United dropping to the First Division, and the First Division is where they will find themselves against next season unless there is an immediate improvement in performance and attitude, starting with this Friday’s trip to Stradbrook to take on Cabinteely.

The post-mortem examination on last Friday should not solely focus on United’s wretchedness: Athlone Town were hugely impressive in recording a first win over United since May 2006, though it should be noted the sides have met just 13 times since the Town dumped United out of the FAI Cup thanks to a 2-1 win in May 2006, a game that saw the end of Stephen Lally’s reign as United manager.

“Galway playing with three at the back, you know, they’re almost three centre-backs really rather than full-backs and we just knew that would be an opportunity for our players to get at them and take them on and I thought James Doona and Adam Wixted did that very well tonight,” Athlone manager Adrian Carberry told the website www.extratime.ie after the game.

In truth, that was something of an understatement – Wixted and Doona ravished the United back-three in the opening 45 minutes, with all three of the home side’s goals coming from out wide.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway couple take life in the fast lane after losing jobs to pandemic

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The Luv2Swim set-up in Carrowbrowne.

A Galway couple who both lost their jobs because of the pandemic are back on the crest of a wave – after opening a swimming pool that allows them to teach and coach swimmers, right beside their family home.

Fitness-loving husband and wife John and Shelly Newell have always had a passion for swimming – but it took the devastation of losing their jobs during Covid to spark the idea of turning it into a highly-specialised business they called Luv2Swim.

They had an idea to build an endless swimming pool and start swimming lessons and swim video analysis in their own private facility, three miles outside Galway city in Carrowbrowne.

And while Level 5 Lockdown has forced them to close for now, their single lane pool will be back, providing a unique facility for adults and children in a safe, fun, and friendly environment.

“Both of us had lost our jobs due to the pandemic and while out walking with our girls, I threw the idea out to John and it took legs from there. It was the beginning of a family business venture,” Shelly said.

But this was more than just a light bulb moment during lockdown; John and Shelly were aware of a recurring problem they had heard many times over the years – people’s anxiety about coming into an overcrowded, noisy, large pool environment.

“Luv2Swim would be Galway’s only private swimming studio providing one-to-one swim lessons and video analysis for adults and children. Swimming is such a vital lifesaving skill and it’s a skill you will have for your whole life,” said John.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or you can download our digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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