Lough Muc­kno pro­ject given the green light

Bray People - - SPORT - with ASH­LEY HAY­DEN email: aniris­hangler­sworld@gmail.com. web: www.aniris­hangler­sworld.com

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.

Newspapers in English

Newspapers from Ireland

© PressReader. All rights reserved.