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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

Galway Real Estate have attractive site for sale on the Aran Islands

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Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

Galway Real Estate have an attractive site/property for sale at Oghill, Inishmore, Aran Islands.

The site is approximately c.150 square metres. (c.1600 sq. ft.) on c.1 acre with planning permission to convert to a dwelling house and fit a new waste water treatment system. Planning Ref: 17/1284. There are two years  left on planning. The planning is for a proposed 4 bedrooms, kitchen, dining/room, laundry/room, bathroom. This is a wonderful opportunity to get a property ready to go. Offers in excess of €125,000 considered.

Full details from Paddy Flynn 0872557618 or Galway Real Estate on 091565488 or email: info@galwayrealestate.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Aran to welcome Ireland’s largest domestic passenger ferry

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Saoirse na Farraige

The largest domestic passenger ferry in the country is making its journey from the Far East to the Far West – ready to commence service from Galway to the three Aran Islands.

The 40-metre ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ represents a massive investment – and vote of confidence – in island tourism on the part of the owners, Aran Island Ferries.

Commissioned in January 2019, this sixth member of their fleet has a capacity of 400 – and it is expected to arrive in Galway Bay from Hong Kong in October.

The vessel departed Hong Kong last week, embarking on a 2,500 mile journey to Galway Bay – inside the hold of a heavy lift ship called Svenja’”.

Saoirse na Farraige has at least three more stops to make before arriving in Galway Bay at the end of October – and it won’t not enter service until next spring.

Aran Island Ferries Sales and Marketing Manager, Aine McLoughlin, said that they were looking forward to seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands, enjoying the increased capacity, accessibility, and safety features.

“We are really looking forward to officially launching ‘Saoirse na Farraige’ next year and seeing visitors enjoy their journey to the Aran Islands on board our new ferry,” she said.

Saoirse na Farraige will serve all three islands from Rossaveel – with a journey time of 40 minutes to Inis Mór, 50 minutes to Inis Meáin, and 55 minutes to Inis Oírr.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Emergency Department upgrade will happen at UHG – but it’s complicated

Denise McNamara

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The current ED at UHG.

Revamping the emergency department at UHG will involve three separate projects – leading to the hospital’s chief describing the process as ‘very complex’.

City Councillor John Connolly (FF) said the people of Galway were concerned that the new emergency department – like the ring road – would never happen, as it appeared to be so bound up in red tape.

Joe Hoare, assistant national director of estates in HSE West, told the Regional Health Forum West meeting that that outpatients department adjacent to the emergency department was being redeveloped to create more capacity for streaming Covid patients from non-Covid patients for the winter.

The outpatients department would be relocated to the Merlin Park campus. The design for this building would be completed within ten months with construction expected to begin in by last 2021 at the earliest.

An interim emergency department was the next priority so that the current building could be knocked to make way for the new state-of-the-art building, creating a new maternity department and paediatrics unit.

Since the budget for the new children’s hospital had blown out of all proportion, the rules over public projects over €100 million had changed and the Saolta hospital group had to ensure its business case for the massive project was ‘watertight’.

Mr Hoare said all three projects were moving in parallel, including the enabling works for the main build, which would take around 18 months to complete.

He described the project as Saolta’s ‘absolute top priority and was regarded as such by the national HSE organisation.

Head of Saolta, Tony Canavan, said the project was ‘big and very complex’ and required management to remain ‘very focused over a long time’.

Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in now – or download our digital edition at www.connachttribune.ie

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