Thanks to all who supported us on the Gweebarra today

FISHERY BOARD CHANGE POLICY OF HEAVY HANDED TACTICS AFTER WEEK OF CONTROVERSY ON THE GWEEBARRA
Following a peaceful Sunday morning spent by protesting anglers on the Gweebarra River in which a few salmon were caught and released, it appears that Inland Fisheries Ireland officers and staff are now taking the advice of TD’s and County Councillors to allow fishing to continue as normal until the Supreme court deliberates on the case. Despite a heavy presence of IFI staff in three jeeps and two Garda squad cars in attendance in which all anglers were being observed and recorded, there was no attempt to confront the anglers this week.
This weekend saw an increased number of anglers taking part in the protest to express their solidarity with the anglers who suffered injuries and harrasement last Sunday at the renowned Mayo pool which is one of the most popular of salmon pools for fishing. It was at this location where one angler suffered injuries from IFI and received hospitalisation for torn ligaments which left him unable to work for some time to come.
Last week at the same location an IFI jeep accompanied by a Garda patrol car arrived in the car park at 11.30am. Another Garda patrol car arrived some time later, as the fishery officers approached several anglers and asked for current angling licenses, which they all had in order and showed to the officers in compliance with the law. They were then asked for the €50 per day IFI permits of which no supporting DGAF or club angler had purchased as they explained that this issue was in legal dispute n the courts. The IFI staff exchanged comments with the anglers and proceeded to attempt to take their rods and equipment and in the process allegedly adopted physical abuse on the three anglers by twisting their arms and squeezing their wrists and to forcefully seize several rods, reels, landing nets and salmon which were legally tagged and in compliance with the fishery laws. The incident appeared to getout of control when at one point Garda members saw it necessary to intervene and to order the fishery officers to refrain from further force and to step back as one angler was nearly shoved into the river. This very heavy handed and disgraceful behaviour by our state fishery protection staff was unecessary as law abiding anglers normally cooperate with such staff on other fisheries.
Following a reports of last sunday’s incident there was a national outcry from websites and social media in which many expressed their outrage at such heavy handed treatment. On one facebook page alone there was 5,300 hits and comments within 24 hours of the news being posted. It was commented on the angling support ‘No state rod license in Ireland’ page that this was the worst state confrontation against anglers ever in this country. One contributoor to the facebook page stated “Even during the days of the very disruptive rod war of 1987-90 there was never such a serious physical confrontaiton.” The Executive Committee of the Donegal Game Anglers Association with the full support of a national federations TAFI and FISSTA representing over 60,000 anglers nationally, thanked all who attended today and for showing once again their restraint and their determination to continue to exercise their rights to fish more than ever and are looking forward to the next outing to fish our river again.
Issued by DGAF PRO Noel Carr, Teelin Rd Carrick, Co. Donegal. Tel 074 9730300 dgl1@indigo.ie

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