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In a significant development, the Limerick Fishery Board has achieved a notable victory in its efforts to address concerns related to fines imposed on fishermen. The decision comes after a joint conference of Fishery Boards in Dublin, where the Limerick delegation voiced grievances about the adverse impact of fines on local fisheries.

At the meeting held in Limerick on Wednesday, the Fishery Board members discussed the resolutions presented at the recent joint conference in Dublin. These resolutions outlined the detrimental effects that fines, particularly those imposed by magistrates at Party Seaters, were having on the region’s fisheries.

A memorandum from the joint conference detailed the concerns and was submitted to the Lord Lieutenant, shedding light on the challenges faced by the fishing community. The memorandum highlighted that the fines imposed were indiscriminate and lacked a fair assessment of individual cases. It was emphasized that the opinions of both the Department of Fisheries and the magistrates who presided over the cases were crucial in making informed decisions.

During the meeting, the Chairman expressed the need for a more thorough examination of each case before imposing fines. A member from Clare shared experiences from their region, stating that considerable fines had never been requested before. The sentiment among the participants was that a more transparent and consultative approach was necessary, involving both the fishing community and the relevant authorities.

Mr Blood Smyth raised the issue of obtaining signatures from magistrates, suggesting that it would add an honourable touch to the process. This proposal aimed to ensure that magistrates were personally involved in endorsing the decisions, fostering a sense of responsibility.

Responding to these concerns, the Clerk acknowledged the common practice of magistrates not hearing the cases directly and relying on information provided to them. He stressed the importance of furnishing comprehensive case histories, including details about the defendant’s character, prior incidents, and relevant circumstances.

The Chairman further emphasized the need to communicate these concerns directly to the Lord Lieutenant. Members agreed that a delegation should be sent to apprise the Lord Lieutenant of the prevailing issues and seek his intervention to streamline the process.

In conclusion, the Limerick Fishery Board’s efforts have yielded a reduction in fines, addressing the disparities in the application of penalties. The successful lobbying for a more consultative and transparent approach reflects the commitment of the Fishery Board to ensuring a fair and just system for the local fishing community.

This outcome marks a positive step towards strengthening the relationship between the fishing industry and the regulatory authorities, with a shared goal of sustaining and enhancing the region’s fisheries. The Limerick Fishery Board’s proactive approach in advocating for the rights of fishermen sets a precedent for collabourative efforts in addressing challenges faced by local communities.

Freeman’s Journal – Thursday 02 May 1912

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