Amenity at Shepperton Lake, near Skibbereen Co Cork, opens tomorrow, April 1st

Inland Fisheries Ireland has today launched an ‘all abilities’ accessible angling facility in Co Cork to enable wheelchair users to fish safely and conveniently.

The bespoke fishing platform at Shepperton Lake in Co Cork cost €106,000 to construct, and provides access to wheelchair users, and those with reduced mobility, to a section of the popular angling destination – some 3km from Skibbereen.

Brian O’Donoghue

The initiative was co-funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland(IFI) and the Department of Rural and Community Development.

Speaking at the opening of the new platform John Twomey Fisheries Inspector with IFI said: “The demand for accessible and safe infrastructure for wheelchair users – and those with reduced mobility- at Shepperton Lake was obvious, and we are looking forward to seeing many anglers enjoy our brand new facility.

“We’re delighted to have had the opportunity to work with the Irish Wheelchair Association on this project, and are very pleased the amenity has been constructed. We can’t wait for the new stand to open tomorrow, and for it to be used by people of all abilities.”

The outdoor facility consists of a long boardwalk and a large accessible steel stand that can cater for up to four wheelchair anglers at a time, a new picnic area, and parking for six vehicles.

IFI today hosted members of the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty, Co Cork for the official opening of the new amenity, following an extensive programme of works to transform the site to support inclusive angling.

Cutting the ribbon IWA Clonakilty and Inland Fisheries Ireland
Barry Collins and Harry Bennett

Sinéad Burke, Service Support Officer for the Irish Wheelchair Association said: “Our service users are thrilled with the new fishing podium at Shepperton Lake and will be able to enjoy a long season of fishing from now on.

“Getting out in nature, and having access to a tailor-made resource like this, will be extremely beneficial to the wellbeing of our service users. We would like to thank the incredible team of IFI who went above and beyond to enhance the fishing experience of our service users. We feel very grateful to work in partnership with the team from IFI.”

IFI has collaborated with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty for the past seven years, and in that period angling day trips to Shepperton Lake have increased in popularity among the latter’s members.