HC Deb 31 May 1897 vol 49 cc1633-4

On behalf of the hon. Member for North Kerry (Mr. M. J. FLAVIN), I beg to ask the Attorney General for Ireland (1) if he can state when the fishery Inquiry was held in Listowel at winch the close season was extended from 17th March to 1st May, and when did the byelaw so made come into effect and when does it expire; and (2) whether he is aware that at the recent prosecutions in Listowel the local licence agent swore that he issued licences to fish in March, and also requested the Fishery Board to send printed notices stating that the season would not open until 1st May, and that the notices so asked for were refused by the Fishery Board; (3) also that the prosecutor at Listowel Petty Sessions wrote a letter to the lave Mr. Hewson, stating that the fishing season opened on 17th March; (4) if so, on what grounds are the licensed anglers on the River Feale prosecuted?


The Inquiry referred to in the first paragraph was held on the 14th December 1892. The result of that inquiry was, a Close Season Order was made (not a byelaw), which came into operation six weeks after its publication—on the 20th January 1893,—and will remain in force until it is altered by a further Order, made in pursuance of the 5 and 6 Vic, cap. 106, sec. 33. I am not aware whether the local licensing agent, on the occasion of the recent prosecutions at Listowel, swore that he issued licences in March; but, whether he did or did not, I may point out that such a licence does not confer permission to fish during the close season, which extends from the 1st November to the 30th April. I cannot say whether application was made to the Fishery Board for notices stating that the season would not open until the 1st May, or whether the application was refused. No such application was made to or refused by the Inspectors of Fisheries. It is true that last year a letter was written to the effect stated at the conclusion of the Question, but that letter was written in error; and this year the fishermen were warned by the water bailiffs not to fish before the open season on the 1st May, or they would be prosecuted. The fishermen who persisted in fishing, notwithstanding this warning, have been prosecuted by the local Fishery Board, and the Executive have no power to interfere.