Fight against Anti Pike Legislation

Irish Pike Society to Lead High Court Challenge against Richard Bruton TD and Department of Communications Climate Action & Environment

The Irish Pike Society (IPS) condemn in the strongest terms the enactment of a law that now allows the killing of four specimen pike (our native Irish predator) per day, per angler, in our premier limestone loughs. This bill was signed into law on the 25th October 2018 by Richard Bruton, TD, the recently appointed Minister for Communications, Climate Action and Environment. It was proposed by Minister Sean Kyne, and supported by Minister of state Sean Canney. Recreational angling supports over 11,000 jobs nationally and contributes almost €1 billion to the Irish economy. The actions of Minister Richard Bruton, Sean Kyne and Sean Canney will result in job losses and loss of community services due to the resulting negative impacts on our economy.

Since 1996, the importance of specimen pike in the said waters has been recognised and further still nationally in 2006 with the introduction of the current national pike law protecting all pike over 50cm. However, with one stroke of a pen, a government minister has undone decades of conservation effort and progress by everyone from anglers to Inland Fisheries Ireland.

Due to the spread of invasive roach throughout our systems, the beneficial role of pike has been illuminated in the most recent scientific research, carried out by IFI 2017-2018. There has been a stakeholders review process ongoing for the last two years, and after huge commitment, time and energy from all involved, the conclusions are now imminent.

Despite this, Minister Bruton has seen fit to sign this disgraceful document, and to allow the slaughter to commence. Ignoring the latest scientific data, without consulting the statutory agency (IFI) charged with managing our fisheries, and in complete and utter contempt of the angling associations, scientific witnesses and experts, and indeed of IFI themselves who engaged and contributed to the review process. IFI’s latest campaign is “CPR”. Catch, photo, RELEASE. What a sick joke that looks now.

And why? Because a Fine Gael minister, Sean Kyne, was hassled and badgered by a tiny minority. People with no interest in Science, or nature, or our environment.

The Irish pike society was formed almost 20 years ago to protect our apex predator,  to promote the appreciation of pike in our waters, and to ensure protection of our limestone loughs by understanding the delicate ecosystem that exists in them. Therefore, following this legislative assault on our apex predator, the Irish Pike Society will be taking a high court challenge to this dreadful abuse of power by a member of our Oireachtais.

This is about more than just this bye law, it is about combating the sustained attack on pike and pike angling over recent years. It is time for anglers to take a stand and say enough is enough. If we don't beat this abhorrent attack against us then ALL angling will be seriously affected.

Members, friends, and supporters… This is dreadful news, the worst. We can lie down, and watch our waters being destroyed, in front of your eyes, on social media, posting pictures of dead twenties, and thirties… Can’t happen on your water? Check the bye-law.. Don’t fish Corrib or Sheelin? If pike and pike anglers aren’t respected there, they won’t be respected anywhere.

The time has come for all right-thinking anglers to make a stand, stake their rightful claim to Irish Fisheries, and demand respect from those who have to date treated us with contempt.

Here's where it gets real. We estimate that the work we have put in over the past 3 years is worth in excess of €150,000 in man-hours alone, which was fine, as only our occupations suffered. Lots of other expenses we covered ourselves. We had made a decision to self-fund up to this point, but since early May we have had full time solicitors and barristers working on your behalf. Our current legal and experts bill is in excess of €15,000.00. It will cost another €10,000.00 to get to trial. If we are unsuccessful, and have costs awarded against us, we’re looking at perhaps another €50,000.00.

Big numbers, but there is everything at stake. 

So friends, this will take time, effort and money. We’ll gladly provide the first two, please donate* now, and let’s make this happen!

*Well-known and respected editor of “off-the-scale” Bill Brazier has agreed to provide independent oversight of all funding received and spending carried out. A full breakdown of finances will be provided.

The Irish Pike Society are an Irish based voluntary organisation working on behalf of pike and pike anglers in Ireland. We have regional organisers all  over Ireland

Paul Byrne is the Irish Pike Society Secretary and is supervising this fundraising campaign.

The funds raised will be used to pay legal costs for getting to and executing our High Court challenge to the recently enacted Salmonid Waters Bye      Law. 

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Paul Byrne
South Dublin

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