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Connacht Tribune

Anglers target Fisheries Minister in trawl for votes

Dara Bradley



Minister Sean Kyne

Trout and salmon anglers in North Connemara are planning to run a candidate to contest the next general election in Galway West.

The Independent candidate will run on a platform of protecting native salmonoids and a wider environmental agenda, including opposing mining and highlighting problems with fish farming and forestry in Connemara.

Oughterard Angling Club has confirmed to the Connacht Tribune that it will contest the next general election in the constituency, in the backyard of the former Minister of State with responsibility for Fisheries, Sean Kyne, a sitting Moycullen-based Fine Gael TD, and Government chief whip.

Mike Faherty, chairman of Oughterard Anglers, said policies to protect salmon and trout fisheries in County Galway would be a top priority.

“You can take it we will be running a candidate because we’re just not happy. It’s not a matter of us putting pressure on anybody or blaming anybody, we have to get representation who will do something for us,” he said.

The candidate will be selected in the coming weeks, he said.

The driving force behind plans to run an election candidate is anglers’ anger at the State’s failure to protect trout and salmon in the West. He pointed out that 15 years ago the State employed 17 staff to mind the Corrib, and that’s down to just two now.

“There are only two tenets really to minding salmonoid fisheries – there’s predator control and stream enhancement. They’re not doing either,” he said.

“It’s like protection for Japanese Knotweed, every time that stuff is found on the side of the road, they put up a sign to say it’s an invasive species and not to take cuttings. Why are our native fish not given the same protection? We’ll run a candidate to highlight these issues. We’re taking this awfully seriously.”

He said civil servants and Government were ‘driving towards a mixed fisheries model’, which will kill trout fishing.

“Mixed fisheries are pike-dominated fisheries. Corrib in particular is suitable to breeding pike, and trout will not survive it. The pike decimate the trout. It’s proven worldwide. All we want is those 14 lakes that were designated by Europe as salmonoid, to be looked after properly, the way they always have been, in fairness to them (old Western Fisheries Board).

“We said nothing for 30 years because we were happy with how the Western Fisheries Board were managing the fisheries. But they got rid of it, and there are top officials who want mixed fisheries. They don’t care about salmonoids. We’ve no objection to coarse fisheries. All we want is that the remaining lakes that we have, there aren’t many left now, the 14 that are designated by Europe, to be protected by law and managed appropriately,” said Mr Faherty.

He said fishing was very important to Oughterard and villages along the waterways.

“Families in Oughterard going back to the 1800s were reared on the Corrib. People reared 14 or 15 kids on the Corrib. There was eel and trout fishing. Down to this day, our village is very busy from March 1 to the end of May, totally because of fishing. We’ve an extended tourism season based on fishing, no other reason. It adds to our tourism industry. The serious trout angler is the one who spends the money. We need to protect trout fishing,” he said.

The anglers’ Dáil bid won’t just be about fishing, however.

“It’s about forestry, and all other issues that are impacting on the natural environment in the West of Ireland. It’s the likes of the fish farming and the mining and all that goes with it,” added Mr Faherty.

The candidate will be unveiled in the coming weeks.

Connacht Tribune

Galway County Council issues flood warning

Enda Cunningham



Galway County Council is making sandbags available to people in various parts of the county due to the threat of flooding.

Already, rainfall has almost quadrupled on this time last year –with already saturated ground has led to an increased threat of flooding.

Met Éireann have reported a 180-300% increase in rainfall when compared with same period 2019.

A Council statement reads: “Soil moisture readings are indicating saturated ground conditions for much of the country.

“Met Éireann have advised that the current regime of periods of high intensity rainfall will possibly be a feature of our weather over the next 14 days.

“As the ground is already saturated, the cumulative rainfall forecasted will increase the threat of both fluvial and pluvial flooding events throughout the county.

“The OPW have indicated that the river network has responded to the recent rainfall since Storm Ciara, with 9% of all river gauges registering above median flood levels.  It is expected that all river catchments will see further rises due to the forecasted rainfall over the next 14 days, with both fluvial and pluvial events possible anywhere in the county.

“Spring tides are expected over the weekend, but no issues are expected.

“The Council is making sand bags available for collection by those whose properties are in vulnerable areas, please contact your local area office, during office hours (9am – 5pm).”

Athenry/Oranmore: 091 – 509088
Ballinasloe North & South: 091 – 509074
Conamara North (Clifden): 091 – 509095
Conamara South (An Cheathrú Rua): 091 – 509060
Loughrea: 091 – 509166
Gort: 091 – 509065
Portumna:  090 – 9741019
Tuam:  091 – 509011

The Council said the key message is for people to stay safe.

“Heavy rainfall currently being experienced is making driving conditions hazardous and drivers need to take extreme care and watch out cyclists and pedestrians and for the potential of flying debris, fallen trees and powerlines.

“Galway County Council Crisis Management Team are continuing to monitor these current weather conditions.”

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Connacht Tribune

Words in the one language can get lost in translation

Dave O'Connell



Dave O'Connell

A Different View with Dave O’Connell

You’d be fairly deluded to see the upside of stormy weather – but if any joy could be drawn from the recent Storm Ciara, it was in the efforts of our English friends to pronounce it.

Even a handful of staff at the BBC – an organisation with its own Pronunciation Unit – got it hopelessly wrong as often as it got it right. So instead of Keera, it was Key-ara, just one small step from Ki-Ora as though an orange squash had engulfed the land.

You’d wonder if that was the devilment at play when the storm was originally named, following a poll hosted by Met Éireann on Twitter – coming up with something that would at least give us a laugh in the midst of a blackout?

Adding fuel to that particular fire was that the Chair of the European Storm Naming Group is none other than Evelyn Cusack, Head of Forecasting at Met Éireann and a woman blessed with a wicked sense of humour.

That’s not to say that Evelyn doesn’t take her job extremely seriously, because she does – and the colour-coded weather warnings are indicative of that.

But she also has a good sense of perspective – so ensuring there’s a strong Irish dimension to this shared naming process between ourselves, the UK and the Netherlands would be right up her street.

In fairness to any devilment in Evelyn, there’s an even greater danger with these things if you leave it to the general public – as evidenced by names suggested by the public (and rejected by the UK Met Office) including Vader, Voldemort, Baldrick and Noddy.

Indeed, according to the London Times, among the other suggestions turned down was that one of the storms could be called Inateacup.

So instead, we get to name a few, the Brits get to name and good few and the Dutch throw in their tuppence worth as well.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.


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Connacht Tribune

FF is stuck between a rock and a hard place




Crunch time...FF leader Micheal Martin.

World of Politics with Harry McGee –

Anyone who has ever run a marathon knows that, somewhere around the 35km mark, you hit hell – and even when you finish it, the first reaction is ‘never again’…until a few months later they convince themselves it was not that bad, and sure, they might even go again.

And as it is with marathons in the sporting sense, so too in the political sphere – as we’re once again discovering.

Back in 2016, government formation took 70 days – and here we are with another marathon to a tortuous haul over the line.

And to be honest, we’re a long way from resolution.

Fianna Fáil says it will not go into government with Sinn Féin. Fine Gael says it will not go into government with either Sinn Féin or Fianna Fáil. Sinn Féin is exploring a government with the left but the name of the game for the party is some kind of arrangement with Fianna Fáil.

That’s not what Fianna Fáil wants. It wants a grand coalition (even though the two formerly biggest parties are considerably less grand after the election) involving Fine Gael, plus the Greens or Social Democrats or both.

Fine Gael does not want any arrangement. It wants to lead the opposition. But if every other combination bites the dirt, it might be reluctantly willing to talk to Fianna Fáil in terms of some form of coalition arrangement.

Every single suggested arrangement involves a massive fundamental shock to all the parties – but particularly to Fianna Fáil.

The party was the biggest loser in the election. It was expected to make gains, but it ended up losing seven seats, plus some of its brightest TDs, including Lisa Chambers, Fiona O’Loughlin and Declan Breathnach.

Now it faces stark choices on all fronts.

It’s been nearly a decade out of power and needs to go back in – but it has been much weakened and if it goes into government it will not go in as the dominant partner.

For more, read this week’s Connacht Tribune.

Get the Connacht Tribune Live app

The Connacht Tribune Live app is the home of everything that is happening in Galway City and county. It’s completely FREE and features all the latest news, sport and information on what’s on in your area. Click HERE to download it for iPhone and iPad from Apple’s App Store, or HERE to get the Android Version from Google Play.

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