Press Release

Inland Fisheries Ireland launches 2023 Sponsorship Programme

Girls sea angling
  • Sustainable angling initiatives which support beginners, young anglers and angling tourism in rural areas are “top priorities” again for funding in 2023
  • 50 groups and initiatives were approved for sponsorship funding in 2022

Inland Fisheries Ireland, the state agency with responsibility for the protection and conservation of freshwater fish and habitats and the promotion of recreational angling, is announcing details for its 2023 Sponsorship Programme today (Tuesday, December 20th).

Angling clubs, groups and associations all over Ireland are being invited to apply for sponsorship funding before the January 20th deadline and in 2023, the €30,000 fund will have a particular focus on initiatives aimed at beginners and young anglers, as well as events that promote sustainable angling tourism in rural areas.

Over 327,000 adults in Ireland consider themselves an angler (Ipsos/MRBI*), while 18% of adults in Ireland that had never been fishing before said that they are “likely” to try angling in the future (Amárach Research**). Therefore, the sponsorship programme is one of the main funding mechanisms used by Inland Fisheries Ireland to promote angling in Ireland.

It awarded funding to 50 angling events and initiatives across the country in 2022.These included national or international competitions and festivals that showcased Ireland’s angling resources and contribution to local economies; coaching and juvenile outreach events were also supported, to help increase participation in the sport, along with public awareness events and angling-related initiatives.

Launching the call, Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development at Inland Fisheries Ireland, said: “Understandably, COVID-19 has had a big impact on the staging of events over the last couple of years. As we look ahead to 2023 with greater optimism, our top priority is supporting projects and events that encourage more young people and beginners to try angling sustainably, as well as initiatives that help grow sustainable angling tourism here in Ireland, especially in rural parts of the country.”

She added: “Our teams are seeing greater levels of interest in angling, especially when you consider the associated health and wellbeing benefits of being outdoors. For example, nearly one in five Irish adults are “likely” to try angling in the future, according to Amárach Research. In addition to supporting those who would like to go fishing for the first time, we also have a unique opportunity through the Sponsorship Programme to highlight the importance of biodiversity, conservation and sustainable angling.”

Applications for funding from the Sponsorship Programme are now invited from angling clubs, associations or any local group organising an angling initiative in 2023. The programme will remain open for funding applications until Friday, January 20th 2023. Meanwhile, applications for equipment, staff support and biosecurity assistance can be made to Inland Fisheries Ireland throughout the year.

Examples of teams, competitions and events that were awarded sponsorship funding in 2022 include:

  • Team Ireland at the Under 20s Coarse Angling Youth World Championships in Slovenia, when Ireland’s Charlie Richards won gold in the individual category.
  • The Home Counties Fly Fishing International, hosted at Lough Lene in Westmeath.
  • The National Junior Boat Fishing Competition, hosted by Newport Sea Angling Club in Mayo.
  • Lough Derg Predator Challenge, hosted in Tipperary.
  • The Cork Small Boats Festival based in Cork Harbour.
  • The Rosslare Small Boats Festival in Wexford.
  • The Five Nations Fly Fishing Championships in Cork and Kerry.
  • The Dutch King’s Classic, hosted on lakes in Leitrim.

More information about the Sponsorship Programme is available by visiting the Inland Fisheries Ireland website at


For media information

Sarah Bohan and Sadhbh O’Neill

Communications Team

Inland Fisheries Ireland

M : 087 65 39936 (Sarah) / 087 101 9998 (Sadhbh)

E : /

Notes to Editor

Angling Research

*Source: Ipsos/MRBI/ESRI Research

According to research in 2020/2021, the national angler population in Ireland is estimated to be 327,000 adults.  Research from Ipsos/MRBI (commissioned by ESRI and funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland) shows that 8.7% of the adult population consider themselves an angler. People are discovering the mental health benefits by taking up angling as a recreational pursuit.

Research conducted from July 2020 to February 2021 by Ipsos/MRBI (commissioned by ESRI and funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland). 16, 159 people were surveyed by Ipsos/MRBI between July 2020 and February 2021.

**Source: Amárach Research

An online omnibus survey, carried out by Amárach Research in July 2021 and funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland, shows that 18% of respondents who had not tried angling before (with a rod and line) are “likely” to try it in the future.

Inland Fisheries Ireland – Sponsorship Programme 2023

Website URL:

Inland Fisheries Ireland may, at its discretion and depending on the availability of resources, provide support to groups, associations, clubs or other appropriate bodies to assist with Events which meet the aims of Inland Fisheries Ireland’s Sponsorship Programme.

Eligible events and categories for 2023 are as follows (in order of priority):

  • Large international competitions held in Ireland which showcase Ireland’s sustainable angling tourism product and contribute sustainably to economic growth in rural regions, supporting jobs and businesses. Maximum sponsorship of €3,000 per event applies.
  • Novice angler events & training courses which increase participation in angling and reinforce sustainable angling methods and fish welfare. Minimum of 20 novice angler participants required. Maximum sponsorship of €500 per event/course applies.
  • IFI staff attendance at educational events in person or online. Examples might include class visits, field trips, Green School projects or requests for IFI attendance at public events. Examples of public events might include: open days, fish displays or angling displays.
  • Information dissemination / initiatives to promote fisheries awareness / conservation and protection of the inland fisheries and sea angling resource / promotion of angling as a key Irish tourism activity. Examples might include: seminars, coaching, training, workshops or fieldtrips. Maximum sponsorship of €1,000 per event applies.
  • Support of juvenile or minority angling teams representing Ireland at international events, both home and abroad. Maximum sponsorship of €500 per team.

Inland Fisheries Ireland can also offer other forms of support where resources allow. This includes (but is not limited to): staff support, biosecurity assistance, loan of angling equipment, advertising support, promotional items, advice on event organisation and online event reporting.

About Inland Fisheries Ireland (

Inland Fisheries Ireland is a statutory body operating under the aegis of the Department of Environment, Climate and Communication (DECC) and was established under the Fisheries Act on 1st July 2010. Its principal function is the protection and conservation of the inland fisheries resource. Inland Fisheries Ireland promotes supports, facilitates and advises the Minister on the conservation, protection, management, development and improvement of inland fisheries, including sea angling. Inland Fisheries Ireland also develops policy and national strategies relating to inland fisheries and sea angling and advises the Minister on same.