Angling is a past time that can be enjoyed by people from all walks of life. This was certainly the case on the River Allow, where IRD Duhallow organised a beginners fishing class for the landowners with land bordering the river. This initiative is possibly the first of its kind in Ireland. Organised by the EU LIFE+ project, the aim is to bring the enjoyment of angling to local people in the area who are also best placed to look after the river into the future.  After all it is much easier to appreciate something that brings us some enjoyment.

Fishing for life
Fishing for life on the River Allow

“Many landowners who have land bordering the River Allow, have never had the opportunity to fish despite living and working close to the river. This is not unusual in Ireland, as it is often people who come in from other areas that have been exposed to the art of fishing, rather than the landowners themselves.”

“The EU LIFE + programme aims to improve the conservation status of the Special Area of Conservation and it is a well established fact that local participation is key to achieving this objective. IRD Duhallow is involved in a broad range of initiatives including the development of the Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence project. The Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence project aims to develop the Duhallow area for angling as both a resource for local people and a tourist project. Environmental sustainability goes to the heart of this initiative so the twinning up of the two projects makes sense from many perspectives.”

The LIFE project floated the idea of angling classes to landowners at their recent landowner information meeting which aimed to provide an update on the project. Great interest was shown to this idea and so the following Friday the fishing event was held along the River Allow in Kanturk. Angler instructors Tom Ankettell of the Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence and Dennis Cronin of the Kanturk Trout Fishing Club outlined the basics in fly-fishing before bringing the participants down to the river to fish. Supported by LIFE volunteer and keen angler Dennis O’Leary and members of the LIFE team Kieran Murphy and Nuala Riordan, great fun was had castig lines, losing flies, untangling knots and causing the odd splash. Best catches of the day were caught by Marjorie O’Regan who managed to catch two trout and by Jerry O’Callaghan, who caught an 11” Trout. A great afternoon out was had by all and it was agreed that more angling sessions would be organised into the future.

The Duhallow Angling Centre of Excellence project is being promoted by the Kanturk Trout Fishing Club and other clubs in the Duhallow area with the support of IRD Duhallow. IRD Duhallow and Inland Fisheries Ireland are project partners in the EU LIFE project aimed at improving the conservation status of Freshwater Pearl Mussel, Atlantic salmon, Kingfisher, Otter and Dippers in the upper Blackwater Special Area of Conservation (SAC).

The LIFE+ project on the upper Blackwater is an EU funded project being promoted by IRD Duhallow and Inland Fisheries Ireland see www.duhallowlife.com for more information.