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Connacht Tribune

Angry anglers see red over pike claims

Dara Bradley

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The trout versus pike fishing war was reignited this week when the bodies representing thousands of anglers excoriated Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) for its latest research.

The National Anglers Representative Association (NARA) and Trout Anglers Federation of Ireland (TAFI) issued a scathing analysis of IFI’s latest research into pike management in Ireland.

And they warned that the dispute is likely to “escalate”.

However, the IFI – the state body responsible for the protection, conservation and management of the country’s inland fisheries – has hit back and issued a rebuttal.

In a statement to this newspaper, IFI lashed the two anglers’ organisations for issuing “threats” which were “unhelpful” and urged both of the trout angling federations “to take a leadership role and re-engage in the review group”. NARA and TAFI issued a statement this week reiterating that they had initially been participating with IFI’s pike management review, “but felt it necessary to withdraw when it became apparent that IFI were making strategic attempts to influence the outcome of the policy review”.

The two organisations said they rejected the recent research by IFI called “Pike in Ireland: Developing Knowledge and Tools to Support Policy and Management”.

They argued that the research samples were not gathered in accordance with approved methods (European CEN 14757 or O’Grady).

IFI said it “notes some anglers’ concerns” in relation to the methodology but it said it used the “most appropriate” method and “it stands over the methods used and the results of the study”.

In rejecting the research, anglers accused IFI of “ignoring existing research literature that spans six decades and demonstrates that invasive pike numbers must be controlled if the indigenous species are to survive and Ireland is to continue to attract game angling tourists.”

The two angling organisations claimed IFI misrepresented the literature when they published a press statement claiming that research carried out by a doctoral student had concluded that pike were native to Ireland. IFI funded the research that was cited, and the researcher did not conclude that pike are native to Ireland, they said.

IFI, in response, said trout angling federations have “repeatedly and erroneously alleged that IFI has misrepresented an earlier publication on the origins of pike in Ireland”.

See full story in this week’s Connacht Tribune.

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Connacht Tribune

Galway to complete vaccine roll-out by end of the summer

Denise McNamara

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Ninety-five year old Margaret Kenny was first person to be administered the Covid-19 vaccination Practice Nurse Deirdre Furey at the Surgery Athenry.

On the first anniversary of Covid-19’s deadly arrival into Ireland, the head of the Saolta hospital group has predicted that all who want the vaccine will have received it by the end of the summer.

Tony Canavan, CEO of the seven public hospitals, told the Connacht Tribune that the HSE was planning to set up satellite centres from the main vaccination hub at the Galway Racecourse to vaccinate people on the islands and in the most rural parts of the county.

While locations have not yet been signed up, the HSE was looking at larger buildings with good access that could be used temporarily to carry out the vaccination programme over a short period.

“We do want to reach out to rural parts of the region instead of drawing in people from the likes of Clifden and over from the islands. The plan is to set up satellites from the main centre, sending out small teams out to the likes of Connemara,” he explained.

“Ideally we’d run it as close as possible to the same time that the main centres are operating once that is set up. Communication is key – if people know we’re coming, it will put people’s minds at rest.”

Get all the latest Covid-19 coverage in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Galway meteorologist enjoying new-found fame in the sun!

Denise McNamara

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Linda Hughes, presenting the RTÉ weather forecast live in studio.

Growing up in Galway where four seasons in a day is considered a soft one, Linda Hughes always had a keen interest in the weather.

But unlike most Irish people, instead of just obsessing about it, she actually went and pursued it as a career.

The latest meteorologist to appear on RTE’s weather forecasts hails from Porridgtown, Oughterard, and brings with her an impressive background in marine forecasting.

She spent six years in Aerospace and Marine International in Aberdeen, Scotland, which provides forecasts for the oil and gas industry.

The 33-year-old was a route analyst responsible for planning routes for global shipping companies. She joined the company after studying experimental physics in NUIG and doing a masters in applied meteorology in Redding in the UK.

“My job was to keep crews safe and not lose cargo by picking the best route to get them to their destination as quickly as possibly but avoiding hurricanes, severe storms,” she explains.

“It was a very interesting job, I really enjoyed it but it was very stressful as you were dealing with bad weather all the time because there’s always bad weather in some part of the world.”

Read the full interview with Linda Hughes in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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Connacht Tribune

Great-great-grandmother home after Covid, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery

Dave O'Connell

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Mary Quinn...back home after an incredible few months.

Her family are understandably calling her their miracle mum – because an 81 year old great-great-grandmother from Galway has bounced back from Covid-19, a stroke, heart failure and brain surgery since Christmas…to return hale and hearty, to her own home.

But Mary Quinn’s family will never forget the trauma of the last three months, as the Woodford woman fought back against all of the odds from a series of catastrophic set-backs.

The drama began when Mary was found with a bleed on her brain on December 16. She was admitted to Portiuncula Hospital, and transferred to Beaumont a day later where she underwent an emergency procedure – only to then suffer a stroke.

To compound the crisis, while in Beaumont, she contracted pneumonia, suffered heart failure and developed COPD, or chronic obstructive pulmonary disease – the inflammatory lung disease that causes obstructed airflow from the lungs.

“Christmas without mom; things did not look good,” said her daughter Catherine Shiel.

But the worst was still to come – because before Mary was discharged, she contracted Covid-19.

Read Mary’s full, heart-warming story in this week’s Connacht Tribune, on sale in shops now – or download the digital edition from www.connachttribune.ie

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