A landmark fisheries case has today ruled in favour of anglers in Co Donegal.
More than 150 summonses against 50 anglers from the Rosses angling club for illegally fishing for Salmon on the Gweebara River thrown out.
The case, brought on behalf of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI), was heard at Dungloe District Court.
The case had been going on for over ten years and arose when IFI established a new angling club on the Gweebara.
This club had excluded anglers from the Rosses who had traditionally fished on the Gweebara from fishing there which the anglers had resisted.
Independents Thomas Pringle TD and Cllr Micheal Cholm MacGiolla Easpuig were in court today to support the anglers in their case.
There were a number of incidents over the years where anglers from the Rosses have been prosecuted by IFI.
Today’s ruling means there was no legal basis to carry out prosecutions leading to the withdrawal of the prosecutions today.
“This is an outrageous abuse of power from IFI to have pursued these anglers over many years when it turns out that they have no legal powers to prosecute the anglers’ said Independent TD Thomas Pringle,
He added “IFI now need to cover the legal costs of the anglers who have fought to have their traditional fishing rights on the Gweebara river recognised. They should also immediately settle the ongoing High Court action that has been dragging on for years with three of the anglers placing a huge financial and personal strain on them’.
Independent TD Micheal Mac GIolla Easbuig said the dismissal of these cases is a tribute to the tireless work of the Rosses Anglers in opposing the heavy handed and now it turns out illegal actions of IFI in this case.
“IFI cannot deny anglers their traditional rights to fish rivers in the county and should now start working with local anglers to develop and protect our rivers instead of wasting resourses pursuing them through the courts.”