Minister Denis Naughten unveils new angling infrastructure developments
Wheelchair accessibility included at ‘The Golden Mile’, Athlone, Co. Westmeath and at Lough Acalla, Kilconnell, Co. Galway
Monday 13th October 2017: Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) is delighted to announce that the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Denis Naughten TD has officially launched new angling developments at ‘The Golden Mile’, Athlone, Co. Westmeath and at Lough Acalla, Kilconnell, Co. Galway.
These works were completed under the National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) and greatly enhance the angling infrastructure in both counties.
The wheelchair accessible angling structures at Athlone comprise floating fishing stands and a connecting bridge to provide for all-year-round fishing. The development was cognisant of the wider amenity use and the scenic and environmental value of the area.
The total investment in Athlone amounted to €73,000 to build up access causeways, the removal of old wooden structures and the design, manufacture and fitting of three floating angling stands.
Inland Fisheries Ireland worked with the local angling clubs, the relevant statutory agencies and contractors in the design and construction of these new floating platforms.
The works form part of a wider development at the Burgess Park and Meadow’s area, involving Athlone Municipal District, Waterways Ireland, National Parks and Wildlife, ESB Fisheries and Athlone Midlands and District Anglers.
At the River Suck, Lough Acalla, development, two large old wooden angling stands were removed and replaced with a fixed concrete catwalk and floating galvanised angling stand. A new path was constructed from a set down area in the existing carpark, providing wheelchair accessibility to the entire structure.
Inland Fisheries Ireland worked with anglers and landowners throughout the project to deliver this key piece of infrastructure at this important trout fishery.
Together with other development works at Emlaghroyan, the total development in this River Suck project was €87,000.
Speaking in Athlone after the ribbon-cutting ceremony, Minister Naughten said: “These much needed new developments will add considerably to the angling infrastructure in the upper and mid-Shannon regions, ensuring accessibility for all anglers. This investment will play a key role in boosting tourism to the Lakelands Region and ensure our valuable natural resources are protected.”
Inland Fisheries Ireland
Tel: +353 (1) 884 2675
Notes for Editors:
National Strategy for Angling Development
The National Strategy for Angling Development (NSAD) 2015-2020 is the first comprehensive national framework for the development of our angling resource. The strategy will deliver a wide-ranging set of investments, innovations and promotions over the coming five years. This will ensure that our fish stocks and angling infrastructure are protected and enhanced for both their economic value and their recreational benefit to the communities and visitors they serve across Ireland. Effective and sustainable implementation of the strategy will ensure stability of existing jobs and businesses reliant on angling and the creation of new jobs as the economic impact of angling grows.
The strategy will also ensure that our angling resource is protected and conserved in an environmentally sustainable manner for future generations to enjoy. Fundamentally, this strategy will strive to make angling an accessible and attractive pursuit for all. In this regard, the strategy is the foremost statement of intent for the future of our angling resource since the establishment of IFI in 2010.
The Value of Angling
The fisheries resource is worth €836 million to the Irish economy annually and supports upwards of 11,000 jobs, often in rural and peripheral communities.
The National Strategy for Angling Development aims to grow the annual economic contribution of angling by €96 million over the next five years, creating an additional 1,800 jobs and attracting 40,000 more tourists annually.