Public meeting held to discuss Annacotty Fish Passage Project

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Audience at Annacotty public meeting

A well-attended public information meeting was held this week (August 23rd) in Limerick to make more people aware of the Annacotty Fish Passage Project and to highlight potential solutions to the problems that the weir is causing Ireland’s fish populations.

Almost 60 people turned out for the meeting at the Castletroy Park Hotel, which was organised by Inland Fisheries Ireland. Attendees included members of the public, representatives from community groups, local angling clubs, Annacotty residents, government departments, state agencies and environmental organisations.

Public reps at Annacotty meeting

Deputy Kieran O'Donnell TD, Suzanne Campion (IFI) and Cllr Seán Hartigan at the meeting

Public representatives also attended the event, including Deputy Kieran O'Donnell TD, Cllr Seán Hartigan and Cllr Elena Secas.

The weir at Annacotty has been classified as a “significant barrier” to fish, negatively impacting on survival rates for species such as wild Atlantic salmon, lamprey (sea, river and brook), wild brown trout and eels.

Brian Coghlan presenting at Annacotty public meeting

IFI’s Brian Coghlan, a Research Officer with the National Barriers Programme 

At Tuesday’s meeting, Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Brian Coghlan, a Research Officer with the National Barriers Programme, gave a presentation about how the weir acts as an artificial ‘barrier’ to certain fish species and the resulting problems for their life cycle.

Alan Cullagh, a Fisheries Development Inspector with Inland Fisheries Ireland, talked about how the problems could be overcome and what solutions were being used in Ireland and internationally to improve fish passage at barriers.

Attendees at Annacotty meeting

Attendees at the public meeting

Finally, a panel discussion took place with questions from the audience, involving Coghlan, Cullagh along with Catherine Hayes, Fisheries Inspector and Jane Gilleran, Fisheries Environmental Officer, both with Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Closing the session on Tuesday evening, Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development with Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “The Annacotty Fish Passage Project is a very important project to improve access to fisheries habitat on the river Mulkear and it is heartening to see the public interest in this project.

 As we highlighted at our public information meeting, we are seeking the views of the public to help inform the most appropriate solution for improving fish passage at Annacotty. This along with environmental and technical assessments will enable us to put the preferred option forward for planning permission.”


Q&A session following the presentations

An Interagency Group for the Annacotty Fish Passage Project has been set-up which includes representatives from Inland Fisheries Ireland, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications, the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage, Limerick City and County Council, the Office of Public Works (OPW), the National Parks and Wildlife Service (NPWS), the Local Authority Waters Programme (LAWPRO) and the ESB.

Interagency reps at Annacotty meeting

Lisa Egan (Dept Housing, Local Government & Heritage) with Donal Purcell (Water Forum at the meeting

More information about the Annacotty Fish Passage Project is available at

The works on Annacotty Weir are part of a pilot project to assist with the design and implementation of a national barriers restoration programme currently being progressed by the Department of Housing, Local Government and Heritage in collaboration with a range of State Bodies.

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