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.
Pubs to remain closed and restrictions on gatherings unchanged
Pubs and nightclubs will not be allowed to open next week, while restrictions will remain in place on indoor and outdoor gatherings, as the Government decided to postpone Phase 4 of the Roadmap to Recovery for a second time.
It will also become compulsory to wear face coverings in shops and shopping centres from next Monday.
Taoiseach Micheal Martin made the announcement this evening, adding that the current situation will be reviewed again in three week’s time.
Asked if pubs would reopen at all this year, the Taoiseach said that due to the way the virus spreads, the Government “cannot give any guarantee right now2.
“International evidence shows very clearly that pubs and nightclubs reopening too early leads directly and inextricably to an increase in community transmission.
“I want [publicans] to know that I have enormous sympathy for their plight. The virus is taking away their ability to earn a living. It is stopping them from providing a key service in the heart of many communities.
“We have to heed our Chief Medical Officer and NPHET [the National Public Health Emergency Team] advice and we have to keep the pressure on this virus.
“I know this will come as a bitter disappointment to many people; the Cabinet has agreed to continue with the current public health measures that are in place. Pubs, bars, hotel bars, nightclubs and casinos will remain closed.
“The current restrictions on numbers attending indoor and outdoor gatherings will remain unchanged [50 people indoors and 200 outdoors].
“We will review the evidence again in three weeks’ time.
“This virus has not changed. It remains as virulent as ever and it is constantly on the search for new people to infect. It remains completely indiscriminate in its cruelty. But as dangerous as it is, we have shown we can beat it. Each one of us has the power to suppress it,” the Taoiseach said.
At a press conference tonight, Mr Martin also said that pubs which are currently trading (with food) will have to close at 11pm.
The Government has also announced that five locations – Malta, Cyprus, San Marino, Monaco and Gibraltar – have been removed from the so-called ‘Green List’.
Influx of visitors heightens Covid fears
Local health chiefs are planning for the worst case scenario of a second surge of Coronavirus brought on by domestic tourism – as ‘staycationers’ from parts of the country where the virus is more prevalent carry it into the west.
There has been just one new confirmed case of Covid-19 in Galway in the past week, and just a handful of new cases in the past several weeks.
But the authorities fear tourists from parts of the country more affected by the virus will result in an increase here during August and September.
There are also concerns that there are not enough beds in the public health system to cope with a resurgence of Covid-19 alongside regular winter hospital admissions.
Tony Canavan, CEO of Saolta, which manages public hospitals in the West, at the HSE West Regional Health Forum this week, said health workers are anxious that the deadly virus will spread to the West, as the reopening of society continues.
“There are concerns among those working in the health system associated with Government plans to reopen society and the economy, even though we know that is absolutely necessary and important for the well-being of the population as a whole.
“But the concerns we have relate to the greater movement of people whether it’s going to and from work, or going about their business, whether it’s attending the shops or entertainment events and so on, and that greater movement of people creates an environment where the risk of the spread of Covid-19 is increased.
“We’re particularly concerned in the West and North West, that there would be a level of movement of people associated with tourism at this time of year,” said Mr Canavan.
Read the full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.
Chanelle McCoy unveils her clinically proven cannabinoid cure
The usage of CBD food supplements to treat a whole raft of illnesses and conditions in recent years has given rise to concern that many of the products currently on the market are being sold to consumers without any clinical trials to verify their safety.
It was the rise in demand for these products that first caught the attention of well-known Loughrea business woman Chanelle McCoy who this week, together with her business partner and fellow Galwegian Caroline Glynn, launched the first CBD product on the Irish market that has been clinically proven to be safe – Pureis.
Chanelle, whose family business Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea has a proven track record in the medical world, stepped back from that venture five years ago to focus on her own Chanelle McCoy Health.
“My family business in Chanelle Pharma in Loughrea and so I’ve worked there for about 18 years. When I joined the business, it was a veterinary business and my father and I co-founded the medical side of the business. Then I was lucky to have the opportunity to lead that medical business over the last 18 years with a great team and with Caroline working with me,” says Chanelle of the beginning of her working relationship with Caroline.
“We bought the medical business into 96 countries around the world and we got over 2,500 product licences granted across those 96 countries. We would be looking at products in terms of what to put into the R&D pipeline and I started looking at CBD back in 2015, probably inspired a bit by Vera Twomey and the inability for moms like her to access good quality CBD products for kids like Ava,” she says, explaining that Cork woman Vera Twomey’s plight to secure cannabidiol treatment for her daughter’s epilepsy was a real eye-opener.
Read the full feature in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now. You can also add the paper to your online grocery delivery; you can purchase a digital edition here, or you can have it delivered at no extra charge by An Post; full details are on this website.