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Fishermen ‘gave into temptation’ and used illegal net


Erris Fishermen ‘gave into temptation’ and used illegal net

TWO Erris men who had valid licences for fishing salmon gave into temptation when they were having a poor season and used an illegal net to catch the fish.
Tony Barrett of Tullaghan Duff, Geesala, and Patrick Carty of Tullaghan Bawn, Geesala, were detected using the illegal net in the early hours of July 1, 2013, while fishing in the Owenmore River.
The two men were in a boat at an area known as The Ferry when they cast out the illegal net and were seen by fishery officers taking fish from the net. At 3.30am, the men left the boat and went towards their car when they were approached by the officers and the illegal net and four salmon were seized.
Mr James Ward, solicitor for Inland Fisheries Ireland, confirmed that the men were both licenced draft fishermen and he said that they also had a legal net in the boat. If they had used that net to catch the fish, it would not have been illegal.
Mr Carty had no previous convictions, but Mr Barrett had previous fishery related convictions dating back to 1997, 1993 and 1983.
Ms Kathleen Doocey, solicitor for the two men said the licence cost €400 and that up to that point in the season they had only caught three salmon with the legal draft net. She explained that on this occasion, temptation had got the better of them and they set out the illegal net. She said the two men co-operated with the officers and handed over both the net and salmon.
She explained that Mr Barrett was unemployed and had lost his three brothers and mother in recent years, and that he continued fishing because he loved it. Mr Carty, she said, was the father of two children and had a limited income. The cost of the licence was a big concern for him. She said he fished because of the tradition and enjoyment of it.
Judge Gráinne O’Neill said that while she appreciated their difficult financial circumstances, they had no choice but to abide by the law and so she had to impose a conviction. She fined both men €250 and ordered them to pay costs of €150 each.