Press Release

Suspended prison sentence ordered for strokehauling

‘Court takes dim view of strokehauling’

Mr Shane Heaphy (27), Templeacre Avenue, Gurranabraher, Co. Cork was issued with a 3-month prison sentence, suspended for 2 years by Judge Marian O’Leary at Cork District Court on Tuesday the 17th of May 2022. Heaphy pleaded guilty to committing four fisheries offences.

The court heard evidence from Inland Fisheries Ireland Protection Officers that Heaphy entered upon a several (private) fishery at the Cork Waterworks Weir on the River Lee on 25th July 2020 to strokehaul salmon. Strokehauling is an illegal method of catching fish that involves ripping weighted hooks along the flank of a fish to try and impale it and causes horrific injuries to the fish.

Judge O’Leary, hearing that Mr Heaphy had previous convictions for strokehauling, responded by stating that ‘strokehauling was cruel’ and that the Court took a ‘dim view’ of the practice. Heaphy was also convicted of possession of a fishing rod and line, fishing within 50 yards of the downstream face of the weir and using a strokehaul. He was fined €300 and ordered to pay €350 in expenses.

Inland Fisheries Ireland Director of the South West River Basin District, Sean Long welcomed the judges’ comments: “The practice of strokehauling is barbaric and fuelled by a small black-market for illegally caught fish. We will not tolerate any kind of illegal fishing and our protection staff carry out covert and overt operations to safeguard our fisheries resource. Anglers and members of the general public are urged to report illegal fishing to IFI in confidence through our 24-hour hotline number: 0818 347424.”

Angling is prohibited in the Waterworks Powerhouse area under the Fisheries Consolidation Act 1959 and Article 4 of the River Lee (Cork Waterworks Weir) By-Law No.453 of 1943.


For media information:

Sadhbh O’Neill


Inland Fisheries Ireland

E :  

T : 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 (