Private Water Keeper

Guidance for applicants requesting a certificate of suitability for Private Water Keepers under Section 294 of the Fisheries (Consolidation) Act 1959 as amended by Section 17 of the Fisheries (Amendment) Act 1991 and Section 31 of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010.

As part of the Private Water Keeper’s (PWK) application process, Inland Fisheries Ireland is charged with considering whether a certificate of suitability should be issued to those applying to the District Court for a Private Water Keepers's warrant.

Applications from Angling Clubs:

Inland Fisheries Ireland strongly advocates good governance and best practice and reminds applicant Clubs that the responsibility for the PWK, in terms of their legal powers and behaviour, lies jointly with the Club and applicant i.e., the onus to adhere to the law falls on the applicant Club and the individual PWK.

Applications from Individuals:

The Applicant is reminded that they are responsible for how they undertake the role of a PWK. Inland Fisheries Ireland strongly advocates good governance and best practice and reminds applicants that the responsibility in terms of use of their legal powers and appropriate behaviour lies solely with them i.e. the onus to adhere to the law falls on the individual.

After the application is submitted online:

  • Applicants shall be notified individually of the decision made.
  • All decisions on the suitability of an applicant are a matter for Inland Fisheries Ireland.
  • In the event of a certificate of suitability being refused, the Head of Inland Fisheries Ireland Operations shall give written reasons for the refusal.
  • Any applicant refused shall be entitled to clarify issues that, in their opinion, may further assist the decision-making process and to seek the decision to be reviewed based on the additional information supplied – all within a period of 1 month. Based on this submission the Head of Operations shall review the decision.
  • In the event of a further refusal, the applicant may appeal the decision. The appeal may be heard by the Chief Executive Officer. Appeals must be lodged within one month of the date of notification of refusal.  Appeals shall be addressed to the Chief Executive Officer who may specify the conditions required in respect of any appeal and the information required to support such an appeal. The appeal will be considered within an 8-week period of receipt of the appeal except in exceptional circumstances where the applicant will be notified in writing of the delay and duration of the same.
  • The finding of the appeal hearing is final.
  • The applicant is advised that they should present the application and certificate of suitability to the District Court. They are further advised that in normal circumstances it is advisable for them to engage the services of a solicitor for securing the appointment of an authorised person.
  • The applicant/s solicitor must advise the Director of the local Inland Fisheries Ireland River Basin District office of the dates the matter is to come before the Court in advance of the hearing.
  • The individual in whose name the application is made should attend the court on the date required.
  • A representative of Inland Fisheries Ireland and/or the Fisheries Inspector involved may also attend the court on the day.
  • All costs associated with the application for the warrant must be borne by the applicant or his/her organisation.
  • If the Court makes an appointment the Court decision must be conveyed to Inland Fisheries Ireland to ensure that Inland Fisheries Ireland's records are complete – this should be sent to the relevant RBD Director through which the initial application was made.
  • A PWK Authorised Person warrant is valid for 5 years from the date of appointment by the court. To act when such an authorisation is out of date would be to act Ultra Vires – so all appointees should be cognisant of their appointment period.


Private Water Keeper Application