There has been some much-needed, positive news for Dublin coarse angling recently following the announcement that a new public fishery will open in early October 2018.
After years of hard work, Dublin-based angling charity Killinarden Angling Initiative (KAI) have been given the go-ahead to open a community-led public coarse fishery in Ballymount Park, Tallaght. Set up in early 2014 in a designated disadvantaged area, KAI is a voluntary group born out of the need for a fully-inclusive passive sport in south Dublin, as a way to help with youth development, social inclusion, cross community relationships, substance abuse and, increasingly, the management of mental health issues. They use angling as a tool to help achieve these goals in both minors and adults alike and it has, by all accounts, been highly successful.
However, since its inception, KAI, steered by Pat ‘Buddy’ Ryan and Stephen O Flanagan, have realised the desperate need for more safe, public angling venues in the city and greater Dublin area, not only to encourage more local youth participation but also for the benefit of the local communities in general. Through sheer hard work and relentless determination, as well as the invaluable assistance and support from South Dublin Council and Inland Fisheries Ireland, this has now come to pass and a new managed, community-led fishery is set to open in the near future.
Speaking about the importance of securing the new fishery, Stephen told us, “It’s amazing. After nearly 5 years of looking for venues, after so many disappointing false dawns, KAI finally get to manage our own lake. We will now be able to introduce more kids and adults to fishing, as well as community groups from across south county Dublin. As so many people know, an angling amenity like ours is really needed in the Dublin area. Let’s be honest, fishing in Dublin isn’t great, it’s deplorable at best!”
Stephen added that “Until now, KAIs juniors and adults have had to travel right across Ireland to fishing venues just so we have a chance at catching some decent fish. Now that we have our own water it offers the chance for on-the-bank workshops, competitions and much more. It also offers the wider community the chance to come and fish in a safe environment away from antisocial behaviour, where they can really enjoy their fishing.”
A rightly delighted Stephen was keen to acknowledge that “It’s been a hard and long fight to get this venue and it has only been made possible by the hard work of Cllr. Cathal King of South Dublin County Council & Des Chew of Inland Fisheries Ireland. Without their support we wouldn’t have got this far.”
Despite supporting some 40% of the Irish population, the greater Dublin area has a surprising lack of public angling amenities with managed venues offering safe and productive fishing very few and far between. As well as the obvious advantages this project will deliver directly in the short to medium term, it is hoped that the initiative will also provide a precedence for other similar community-led fisheries to develop across the country.
The park lake, which covers approx. 4 acres (including two small islands) is largely unknown in terms of its fish stocks but it is hoped that additional stocks will be made available with the assistance of Inland Fisheries Ireland. Fishing for members of the public will be available for a nominal fee through membership of Killinarden Angling Initiative.