Irish Angling Development Alliance reports:

The final day of the Lough Muckno Failte Ireland Autumn Festival saw fierce rivalry at the top of the leader board, with Ewan Weed displaying sheer determination to hold off the superlative Steve Harwood, a first time competitor on the venue and one who showed his pure class from pillar to post.

The winners


Ewan’s result gives him the credibility he really deserves following a series of splendid top table finishes in some recent elite Festivals on the Irish Angling tourist calendar.

Lough Muckno
Lough Muckno


Steve Hardwood despite indifferent draws on the final days fished out of his skin, to finally get pipped by less than a half kilo and is determined to make 2 or three visits in 2016 where he will contest at Easter, July and endeavour to win this event next time.

A better fish
A better fish

Philip Jackson continued to grind out big performances all week and despite a poor final day draw, he was still pumped up enough to come home with 7 and a half kilos, to hold on strongly to third place, just grammes behind the top two.
Class act Andy Bennet again was the big mover on the final day, with a great 10.840kg and a total of 37.310kg which kept him in four figures at the pay-out stage.

The anglers were very impressed with the event
The anglers were very impressed with the event

D Smiddey was the Mr consistent all week, stalking the leaders and the final day tally from him was no exception with a fine match, consolidating his position in a great 5th place.

Mickey Welsh along with the luckless Derek Buckley suffered the only two reversals in the top ten and Mickey had finally to be satisfied with a very credible 6th place, just in front of that very dogged Piotr Horbinski whose 7th place showed sheer determination and grit and amounted to a week of absolute consistency and match management.

A good bag
A good bag

The final place in the money in 8th went to star angler Simon Wilsmore whose slow start probably cost him a podium finish but whose subsequent display of speed fishing, saw him for the big threat that he is, on fish catching festivals such as this and likely to be, on others held on this venue.

This is another who is determined to make multiple trips in 2016 to what he describes as a “brilliant place and brilliant Festival”.

John Jowett, Simon Stott, Mark Pollard, Dan Varney, Johnny Keith and Derek Buckley sound like the who’s who of angling when lined up is succession but in fact they filled the following 6 places in one of the most awesome line-ups seen on a Festival anywhere in Ireland to date.

Some fell foul of poor final day draws and some just showed their class in the form of a late surges but just coming up marginally short.

Well done and congratulations to all of our winners and competitors who made this one of the most pleasant and rewarding festivals in a massively growing and attractive calendar.

Some left with bulging pockets, one with a very nice and expensive digital padlock (possibly Mark pollard ) but most of all we hope that everyone went away with great memories of a splendid festival, lots of fish, and all that they could ask for in the area of organisation, accommodation, entertainment and splendid dining, courtesy of the draw centre boss, Raymond Watters at the Old Coach Inn.

With such an awesome line-up in attendance in a field of 70 of the best, it was no shame not to make the first page and indeed on the second and third pages are to be found, some current and past greats in our sport.

Lough Muckno with all of its development and diversity in angling methods, is becoming the venue of real challenge, where you will pit your skills against the very best, on all of our Festivals into the future.

An unprecedented forward booking rate is now occurring with this Autumn Festival already half booked for 2016.
We are targeting 100 anglers in 2016 and in that case our Festivals group will be providing a prize fund well in excess of €20,000 when pools entries are in and Sponsorship is added.

One again we had a very pleasant presentation night at the Old Coach Inn where the substantial prizes were presented by Councillor Seamus Coyle who spoke eloquently and in great praise of the organiser’s and travelling anglers whose attendance is a massive stimulus to our now re-growing economy.

Thanks to Geoff, Raymond, Peter W, Peter G, Peter Nick and especially to Failte Ireland, Monaghan County Council, Monahan Tourism, Dympna and Katrina, Failte Ireland, Coliite, Lough Muckno Community Partnership and a host of others, who make these important things for our area, happen.

Paul Mcloughlin
Irish Angling Development Alliance