An Achill man who appeared before court charged with the illegal use of a fishing net was fined €100 after he was intercepted checking a net by fishery inspectors.
Anthony Gielty of Keel West, Dooagh, Achill appeared before Achill District Court after he was observed checking an illegal net near Dooagh on July 4 last.
Inland Fisheries Inspector Michael Hughes explained that he was checking for illegal nets in the Achill area because this was a ‘huge problem’ in the area.
He said he noticed a net in the water but decided not to remove it because ‘by the time we leave Achill another one would be in its place’.
Insp Hughes said the net was approximately 100 yards long and anchored at each end, and he noticed a currach leave Dooagh pier and the person started to check the net in the water. He called for assistance and the fisheries dinghy was launched and they intercepted the currach on its way back to Dooagh.
The person in the currach gave his name as Anthony Gielty, and the net was confiscated. Mr James Ward, solicitor for the Inland Fisheries said that Mr Gielty had previous convictions for similar offences in 1991 and 1992 and was fined a total of £1,400 at the time.
When Judge Mary Devins commented that they were ‘quite hefty fines’, Insp Hughes said at the time there was a serious poaching problem in Achill.
Mr Gareth Bourke, solicitor for the defendant said his client regretted what he did and had not been in court since the last incidents ‘almost two decades ago’.
He added that some of the fines had not been paid but Mr Gielty gave an undertaking that he would pay the fine imposed by Judge Devins.
Mr Bourke said that Mr Gielty had worked in the construction sector for 30 years, that he admitted he was foolish for what he did and that he had come in ‘with his hands up’.
Judge Devins fined Mr Gielty €100 and ordered him to pay €100 in contribution costs.