HC Deb 13 November 1906 vol 164 cc1307-8
MR. JOYCE (Limerick)

I beg to ask the Chief Secretary to the Lord-Lieutenant of Ireland whether he is aware of the fact that the Limerick Board of Fishery Conservators is entirely composed of fishery owners and their nominees; that some of them do not fish either for profit or sport; that they are elected by proxy votes, to the exclusion of fishermen representatives, not one of whom has a seat on the board for the entire district; is he also aware that miles of the River Shannon claimed and reserved by private individuals, to the exclusion of the public, are not rated under the Poor Law Valuation Acts and do not contribute anything for the conservancy of the river; and whether the Government contemplate doing anything to remedy this state of things


I am informed that the Limerick Board of Conservators is partly elected and partly ex-officio. The elected members, numbering twenty-four, are elected by those persons, both fishermen and proprietors of fisheries, who take out licenses for salmon fishing in the district. The ex-officio members, the number of which is variable, are either owners of several fisheries exceeding £100 valuation, or magistrates who take out licenses and are riparian owners. The number of such ex-officio members who attend meetings of this Board does not exceed ten. The fishermen who are qualified to vote are in no way restricted in their choice of a candidate, but may vote for whom they please. The Department of Agriculture have no information as to the particular class of licensees by which the elected members of the present Limerick Board | have been chosen. It is a fact that miles of the River Shannon owned by riparian proprietors are not rated, but the Department understand that all private fisheries which are a source of profit to their proprietors are rated. Should any such fishery be insufficiently rated or not rated at all, it, is open to the rating authorities or the Board of Conservators to move in the matter. It is to the interest of the Conservators that private fisheries should be adequately rated, because the Conservators are entitled to receive for the purposes of their district a rate of 10 per cent, on the value of the fisheries. I do not feel at this moment to be in a position to make a statement as to possible legislation on the subject of salmon fisheries and Boards of Conservators.