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Fishing within 5km radius given the green light

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*A man fishing in the River Fergus. Photograph: John Mangan

Anglers are permitted to fish in locations 5km from their homes as of today (Wednesday).

Inland Fishers Ireland (IFI) has updated its recommendations on angling following the latest advice from NPHET and the Government. IFI owned/managed state fisheries are open with the exception of the Galway and Moy fisheries.

ESB fisheries are now also open to angling activity. The status of private and club run fisheries is a matter for the fishery manager/committee.

It follows a proposal from Clare TD, Michael McNamara (IND) to Taoiseach Leo Varadkar (FG) in Dáil Éireann last Thursday seeking that anglers be allowed to resume fishing activity. The Taoiseach subsequently committed to reviewing the proposed easing of restrictions.

“Fishing is a hugely popular pastime throughout Ireland and the mental health benefits of lifting restrictions for people who have been cooped up in their homes for so long is to be very much welcomed,” Deputy McNamara told The Clare Echo.

He added, “In the Dáil last week, I requested the Government consider the minimal risks associated with fishing in terms of ongoing national efforts to contain the virus considering as it is a predominantly solitary activity or something you do with just a few people. I am delighted that restrictions on fishing have now been eased. I have been informed that Inland Fisheries Irelands will continue to monitor the situation and make further updates as appropriate in line the Governments Roadmap for reopening society and business”.

Information regarding the purchase of permits and salmon licences is available online.

Updated guidelines state fishing is permitted within 5km of one’s home, social distancing must be maintained at all times especially at car parks, access points and launch sites. Only anglers from the same household should share transport when travelling to fish. Contact must be limited with other providers and anglers.

Two persons from the same household are only allowed in a small boat for inland and inshore fishing. Angling businesses may only open once classified as an essential service and should only operate if they can provide online/contactless services. Charter fishing or guided fishing may only operate where skippers/guides can guarantee compliance with social distancing measures.

Competition fishing has not been recommended. Facilities where anglers gather are to remain closed. Guides, skippers are anglers are encouraged to carry hand sanitiser and use it after touching surfaces such as gates, stiles, pier railings and ladders.

Páraic McMahon is Head of News & Sport with The Clare Echo. The Newmarket-on-Fergus native also writes for national papers including The Irish Examiner, The Irish Independent and The Irish Times along with doing work for RTÉ, Today FM, TheJournal.ie and The42.ie. A graduate of Mary Immaculate College, Páraic was previously employed by The Clare Herald and Clare FM. If you have a story, tip or some feedback for him then send an email to - paraic@clareecho.ie

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