Wednesday, 13 December 2017
Order of Business
With the Cathaoirleach's permission, I would like to welcome neighbours of mine from Dunamon in Roscommon; Mr. Brian Flynn, Ms Denise Flynn, and their children Meghan, Nathan and Suey, who are here for the first time in Leinster House. I welcome their visit to this Chamber.They are seeing some very distinguished people here today, not least our resident James Joyce expert, Senator David Norris.
I wish to raise an issue I have raised previously in this House about which I have not yet received a satisfactory response. I refer to a charge for fishing in rivers in my local area. It is the only part of Ireland where there is a charge for fishing. If Megan, Nathan and Zoe Flynn wanted to fish on their parents' land, they would have to pay a levy to the fisheries board. That is wrong. The ESB seems to have ownership and is acting like a latter day British landlord. I have asked the Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment, Deputy Denis Naughten, and the Minister of State at his Department, Deputy Seán Kyne, to resolve this issue. It applies to the River Suck and its tributaries, including Linbaun Lake. Tourists to our area must pay a fishing levy but if they leave our area they do not have to pay such a levy. That is not fair. I would hope I would have the support of this House were I to table a motion to resolve this issue early next year. As a former Minister, I find it very difficult to understand why the Minister, Deputy Naughten, has not addressed this matter given that it is in his bailiwick. It would be very simple to resolve and Ministers should look after their own areas. They always have done so in the past and always will do. It has been a while since we had a Minister in our area. The Suck valley centre in Athleague, county councillors and local people, as well as Donamon Castle are all arguing for this particular concession. It is hard to believe that there is a levy of €10 per day for a child to fish in Roscommon's rivers while down the road on the river Shannon, no levy applies. That is not fair, equitable or just.