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River Corrib cages put river rescues at risk


From this week's Galway City Tribune

From this week's Galway City Tribune

River Corrib cages put river rescues at risk River Corrib cages put river rescues at risk

From the Galway City Tribune – Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has been urged to address ‘dangerous’ ‘no-go’ areas on the River Corrib that are impeding rescues by emergency services.

City councillors unanimously passed an emergency motion calling on IFI to remove salmon and eel cages from two city locations along the river.

The motion was brought by Councillor Niall McNelis (Lab), and chair of the Claddagh Watch, a volunteer organisation to prevent suicides and accidental drownings.

As reported by the Galway City Tribune last summer and again in December, the emergency services had highlighted the danger of the cages.

The motion called for the removal of salmon cages at Queens Gap and eel cages at Salmon Weir Bridge.

This was to “eliminate a detrimental health and safety risk for rescue workers in the emergency services”.

“This follows urgent calls from Galway Fire Brigade, RNLI, Claddagh Watch and family members who lost someone who have entered the water,” the motion read.

This article first appeared in the print edition of the Galway City Tribune. You can support our journalism by subscribing to the Galway City Tribune HERE. A one-year digital subscription costs just €89.00. The print edition is in shops every Friday.

IFI was asked to revert to councillors by September at the latest to indicate when the cages will be removed.

In proposing the motion, Cllr McNelis said the eel cages “serve no purpose and are also a Health and Safety concern”.

“The metal bars at the Queens Gap where salmon cages once operated serve no purpose and are extremely dangerous for Fire Service,” he added.

Cllr Martina O’Connor (Green) wondered whether there would be an environmental impact of removing the barriers.

She also suggested removing the cages could make the river more fast-flowing and therefore more dangerous.

Cllr McNelis insisted the emergency services requested the cages were removed for Health and Safety reasons, because they had created ‘no-go’ areas in the water for rescue personnel. He said IFI could deal with concerns about fish.

The motion was agreed by all and will be copied to Environment Minister Eamon Ryan.

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