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Press Release 23rd October 2006



The Monaghan Youth Angling Peace Initiative held a pike fishing competition on Saturday, 21st October at Lough Muckno, Castleblayney, Co. Monaghan. The event was organised and sponsored by the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board with funding from the Monaghan County Council-Led Force in conjunction with Angling First, a charity based in Northern Ireland encouraging young people from both communities to take part in angling. More than 30 young anglers from communities north and south of the border took part in the competition on White Island, a prolific fishing location on the lake. All competitors were spilt into North South pairs, making it a team effort. The sun shone on the young anglers as a variety of fishing methods were used in an effort to catch a big pike. All teams were supplied with a gift pack of floats, lures and bait to ensure they all had an equal chance of landing a pike.

Pictured at the Monaghan Youth Angling Initiative pike fishing competition at Lough Muckno, Castleblayney, Co Monaghan are all the young competitors, organisers and stewards.

It was Alan Bird from Dundalk that caught the first fish of the day. The 7lb pike put up a brave fight but Alan managed to land and release the fish with advice from the competition stewards. His partner Adam Miller from Banbridge, Co. Down was delighted with the catch and both anglers hoped their fish would not be beaten! Their place was safe as the second fish caught weighed in at 5lbs 8oz. It was caught by Stuart Jess from Craigavon who was partnered with Richard Coughlan from Dundalk, Co. Louth.

Matt Campbell from Dundalk Brown Trout Anglers Association provided welcome sustenance for the young competitors with delicious sausage sandwiches cooked by the side of the lake. This must have provided an extra boost as the third fish was caught shortly after by Robert Sloan from Banbridge, Co. Down. The fish was a winner as it weighed in at 10lbs 9oz. Robert was partnered with Craig Doherty from Dundalk.

Pictured from left to right at the Monaghan Youth Angling Initiative competition at Lough Muckno, Co Monaghan are: Des Chew, Dublin Angling Initiative, Mark McGivern, Angling First, Craig Doherty, 16 years, Dundalk (overall winner), Paddy Greene, Fisheries Inspector, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board and Robert Sloan, 13 years, Banbridge, Co. Down (overall winner).

The competition ended at 4.00pm and the competitors were treated to a well-earned dinner in Hope Castle followed by a prizegiving. A fantastic array of prizes was on offer including top quality Shimano rod and reels which were presented to the winners by Mr. Paddy Greene, Fisheries Inspector for the district, Des Chew, Dublin Angling Initiative and Mark McGivern, Angling First.

Des Chew of the Dublin Angling Initiative was delighted with how the day went: ‘This competition provided a fantastic opportunity to build relationships between communities in the North and South and for the representative youth groups to share their experiences and angling knowledge. We had some great fishing here today and all competitors thoroughly enjoyed the event – I hope we can organise more of these events in the future. I would like to sincerely thank Hope Castle and all the Stewards from Castleblayney, Angling First, Dundalk Brown Trout Angler’s Association, the Eastern Regional Fisheries Board and finally, Monaghan Tourism who kindly contributed funds to the event’.


For further press information, please contact Marketing Angling Co-ordinator, Eastern Regional Fisheries Board, 087 2746127 or Des Chew, 087 6740214

Notes to Editor:

Competition Results:

Alan Bird, 15 years, Dundalk, Co. Louth proudly holds the 7lb pike he caught to take second place in the Monaghan Youth Angling Peace Initiative competition. Alan was partnered with Adam Millar, 12 years, Banbridge, Co Down

Heaviest Fish Caught: Robert Sloan, Banbridge, 10lbs 9oz

Smallest Fish Caught: Stuart Jess, Craigavon, 5lbs 8oz

Stuart Jess, 14 years, Craigavon (pictured left) with his 5lb 8oz pike with his partner Richard Coughlan, 14 years, Dundalk, Co Louth

Project part financed by the European Union Peace and Reconciliation Programme and the Irish Government under the National Development Plan and managed for the Special European Union Programmes Body by Monaghan County Council-Led Task Force’.

The Eastern Regional Fisheries Board is a statutory authority whose function is to conserve, develop, protect, manage and promote the inland fisheries and sea angling resources within its jurisdiction. The Region extends from the border in Northern Ireland to South of the Wexford coast and includes all catchments which enter the sea between these boundaries


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