courtesy of Peter Gleeson

Two Lough Derg fishermen have combined their expertise to establish an enterprise guiding visiting anglers around the lake. The venture was launched by local Labour Party minister Alan Kelly on Friday last.

Irish Fishing Tours, the brainchild of Portroe natives Paul Bourke and Danny Tiernan, provides  customised fishing holidays on the Shannon’s largest lake.

Based in the picturesque harbor village of Garrykennedy, Irish Fishing Tours provides a comprehensive service to anglers that encompasses a guide service, boat/tackle hire and food and accommodation.

Danny and Paul have been fishing the lake all their lives and they are well placed to show visiting anglers the best fishing locations and advise on fishing methods while taking into account the needs of experienced anglers.

They will provide anglers with a number of accommodation options and they aim to highlight the variety of other attractions and activities which the lake has to offer to visitors.

Danny and Paul  have acquired two top of the range aluminium boats that provide all the comfort  and equipment that the most expert angler could wish for.  Also for hire are traditional 19 foot lake boats  powered by four-stroke engines.

Speaking at the launch of the service in the award winning Larkin’s Bar & Restaurant in Garrykennedy  Paul Bourke said: “Our motivation in starting up this enterprise is based on our passion for fishing and our love of the outdoors. We are doing something we love everyday.”

Paul said he and Danny had an interest in all methods of angling, particularly for the huge pike that abound in the lake and ferox trout.

Explaining one of the reasons for setting up their enterprise, Paul added: “We did a lot of research on angling tourism and discovered that a problem for people visiting Lough Derg was that the lake was  under developed  for water based tourism. We saw a gap in the market.”

He said Irish Fishing Tours placed a big emphasis of conservation of the wild fish species. They operated a policy of releasing fish they caught back into the lake.

Local Minister Alan Kelly described the new guiding service as a fantastic idea and he congratulated the North Tipperary Leader company  for providing funding towards the project. “The potential here is more than just promoting fishing. It’s about tourism and the contribution this can make to the local economy.”

The minister, who formerly worked in the tourism sector, said he would be using his contacts to introduce the Paul and Danny to the marketing people in Fáilte Ireland so that word of their service was spread throughout the international angling sector.

Chairman of the North Tipperary Leader company John Carroll said that rural areas need enterprising people like Paul and Danny to create added value tourism initiatives along the Shannon. He complimented the staff of North Tipperary Leader for their support and guidance throughout the application process and wished the two men well with their project.

Sean Crowley of North Tipperary Leader said the new guiding service was just one of a number of projects which his company had funded to promote Derg as a top class angling amenity. He said Leader was also  funding a study aimed at conserving the native fish in the lake and had allocated funds aimed at protecting wild trout stocks.

Further details on Irish Fishing Tours can be got by contacting  Danny on 353 87 7454128; Paul at 353 87 1953554 or email [email protected]. The Irish Fishing Tours website is