Sean Canney TD, Minister with responsibility for Inland Fisheries has invited Angling Representative Organisations to participate in productively developing the sport of angling as an economic and social driver for Rural Ireland.
Minister Canney said, "the angling sector provides enormous social, economic and community benefits. It supports over 11,000 jobs – mainly in rural areas – and is estimated to be worth almost €850m annually to the economies of peripheral regions. However, the true potential of angling as an economic driver is not being realised".
"More jobs and greater economic and social dividends for Rural Ireland are achievable but are being thwarted by factionalism and narrow interests that fail or refuse to see the bigger picture. In my role as Minister with responsibility for both Community Development and Inland Fisheries, I am determined to put in place the right process and structure to help angling deliver on this potential" he added.
The Minister has written to Angling Organisations representing all main disciplines emphasising his firm intention to establish a unified consultation group for angling which will operate according to clear Terms of Reference and Code of Conduct. The group will be equally representative of all strands of angling and will engage in productive liaison to support cooperation across all the component disciplines of angling
Minister Canney has signalled his clear intention that the group will be the single channel for orderly, progressive and constructive engagement on significant policy issues with Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) in the first instance and also Senior Officials in his Department. It will also be a significant conduit for access to organisation-related funding, particularly sponsorship.
Liaison with Sport Ireland is also proposed to establish a formal relationship between Sport Ireland and this new group to place angling on a sound footing among the wide range of recreational sports, based on strong and robust governance principles.
The Minister's initiative follows a number of meetings with the combined angling organisations and he has asked them to confirm their participation by the end of January 2020. "I am leading on a positive, inclusive and consensual body for angling for the benefit of the entire recreational fishing sector. I expect all those with angling's true interests at heart to join me in this endeavour".