Lough Muckno project given the green light
WITH THE Irish economy in meltdown and at the time of writing a new Government still to be elected, a visionary project that has the capability to transform coarse fishing within Ireland has been given the green light.
Lough Muckno, adjacent to Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan, has been granted £519,519 in capital funding to develop coarse angling infrastructure capable of hosting the World Championships.
In February, 2009, I met Dick Caplice, then manager of the Irish coarse fishing team, for the first time. It became apparent that we both shared a common vision as to how Irish angling should be promoted in a modern world.
We discussed the decline in tourist coarse anglers, particularly from the United Kingdom, and agreed that lack of infrastructure was the reason for the fall in numbers. Dick spoke eloquently about Lough Muckno, a 1,000 acre water stuffed with roach, bream, hybrids, perch and pike, as an untapped resource, a jewel in the crown, a phoenix waiting to rise from the ashes.
I was sold and together we formulated a plan to develop 350 fishing pegs with vehicular access along its famous shorelines to include Black Island, White Island, Concra Wood and Toome Shore. A community-based steering committee was formed to drive what was now called ‘The Lough Muckno Project’.
Building a head of steam and embraced by Monaghan County Council, Coillte, and the then Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, all the hard work was justified when Erich Humphreys, an inspector with C.I.P.S. (the International Fishing Federation), gave the thumbs up to Lough Muckno as an international venue on completion of the proposed plan.
Spearheaded by Dympna Condra, tourism officer with Monaghan County Council, funding was granted under Priority 2: co-operation for a sustainable cross border region, following a cost benefit analysis and EIS. With works expected to commence in July, 2011, and finish early 2012, Lough Muckno is set to become the Aviva Stadium or Croke Park of Irish angling, and given the right marketing will reignite coarse angling tourism within Ireland.
A happy Dutch angler with a mixed brace comprising bream and hybrid from Lough Muckno.