A poacher was convicted and fined a total of €2,400 for assault and breaches to the Fisheries Acts in an incident that occurred last year, according to Inland Fisheries Ireland.
The man, from Clonmel, Co. Tipperary, was convicted by Judge Marian O’Leary at Cork District Court on Wednesday, April 21, 2021 on five charges including assaulting fisheries officers.
Officers of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) had observed the man fishing in a prohibited area known as the ‘Flush’ at the face of the ESB Inniscarra Dam on May 23, 2020.
The poacher was fined €500 for illegal entry upon the private fishery, €400 for obstructing the fisheries officers, €500 for assault and €300 for not having a Salmon Rod Ordinary Licence.
Judge O’Leary fined the defendant €300 for using a vehicle to aid the commission of an offence and also considered an ancillary disqualification for the use of the vehicle.
Costs of €400 were awarded to IFI and an order for forfeiture of the fishing rods used was granted.
Evidence was heard that the man, who had travelled from Tipperary to Cork during the Covid-19 lockdown, had refused to cooperate and violently threatened and resisted the fisheries officers before an Garda Síochána arrived to assist.
Sean Long, director of the South Western River Basin District, said: “The welfare of our fisheries officers is of foremost importance to IFI and that they can carry out their necessary work while ensuring their own personal safety.
“We are concerned at the level of threatening and aggressive behaviour towards fisheries officers in the area and on social media.
“While we are satisfied with the convictions in this case, an assault on a fisheries officer is a severe matter and offenders will be prosecuted without exception.
“I urge anglers and members of the public to report illegal fishing through IFI’s confidential hotline on 1890-347424 or 1890 FISH 24,” Long concluded.