Press Release

Inland Fisheries Ireland welcomes European Innovation Partnerships (EIP) Farm and Community Biodiversity Funding- Media Release

Works to begin in 2021 to enhance biodiversity along seven rivers in Cavan and Meath, involving 50 cattle drinkers and 5km of fencing

 Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) has welcomed the allocation of €185,000 for a project around Lough Sheelin by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine (DAFM) under the Farm and Community Biodiversity Initiative.

The state agency is responsible for the protection, management, development and improvement of Ireland’s inland fisheries and applied for funding to enhance biodiversity on seven rivers in the Lough Sheelin catchment area in Cavan and Meath.

Working in partnership with farmers and landowners along the rivers, Inland Fisheries Ireland will begin works later this year that will help protect riverbanks from erosion by livestock, reduce water pollution and enhance biodiversity by pruning vegetation and trees in selected areas to allow more natural light to enter the river channel.

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An image showing a fenced off section of river, where fencing was used to prevent livestock from damaging the river banks

Suzanne Campion, Head of Business Development with Inland Fisheries Ireland explains: “When cattle enter a river to drink, they can damage the banks of the river, causing materials, such as sediment to enter the river. This can reduce the overall water quality in the river which will negatively impact the fish and their habitats. Thanks to funding from the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, we can provide alternative sources of drinking water for livestock through ‘cattle drinkers,’ and we can install fencing which is set-back from the river’s edge. This will mean that erosion and water quality issues in the Lough Sheelin Catchment area can be prevented and biodiversity can be enhanced.”

Inland Fisheries Ireland is planning to install over 50 cattle drinkers and 5km of livestock fencing along the seven rivers at Finaway, Maghera, Drumone, Halfcarton, Pound, Mountnugent and Kildorrough. The agency anticipates that these works will lead to the growth of vegetation on river banks, which would become a natural habitat for wildlife and could act as a buffer to prevent polluted water from the land entering the rivers.

In the longer term, Inland Fisheries Ireland plans to carry out significant river habitat enhancement works as part of a five-year development plan, working closely with the Lough Sheelin Trout Preservation Association (LSTPA).

The Farm and Community Biodiversity Initiative works will be completed within the next twelve months. The Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Senator Pippa Hackett, recently announced that Inland Fisheries Ireland was successful in its application for €184,698 as part of an Open Call. The ‘Riparian zone enhancement – Lough Sheelin Catchment project’ is an EIP (European Innovation Partnership) being administered by Inland Fisheries Ireland. The Project is funded by the EU Recovery Instrument Funding under the Rural Development Programme 2014-2022.

More information about the work of Inland Fisheries Ireland is available at


For media information:

Sarah Bohan/ Sadhbh O’Neill


Inland Fisheries Ireland


T: 087 65 39936 / 087 1019998

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.