Annaghdown Angling Club : A History

The Annaghdown Angling Club was founded on Friday the 14 January 1972 in the Annaghdown National School by the kind permission of the Principal of the National School the late Mr. Bert O’Connell.

The following officers were elected

  • President: Rev. Fr. Brendan Kavanagh ,(R.I.P). Annaghdown
  • Chairman: Mr. Michael Kavanagh , (R.I.P). Annaghdown
  • Secretary: Mr Desmond Nolan, Annaghdown.
  • Treasurer: Mr Joe Divilly, (R.I.P.),Muckrush, Annaghdown

Objectives of Club

  • Build up the stock of brown trout in the lake especially in the Annaghdown area of the lake.
  • The prevention of Pollution of the water of Lough Corrib.
  • The elimination of the poaching of brown trout.

Club Membership

Club Membership is open to all anglers who are willing to abide by the Objectives of the Club. The Club has now members from the Parish of Annaghdown, Galway City, County Galway and County Cork.

Brown Trout Restocking

Almost every year since its foundation the club has been involved in the trout restocking of Annaghdown Bay and the Narrows.  We restocked the lake with brown trout fry from the Lough Corrib Anglers Federation Hatchery at Oughterard. In the early years of the club we also restocked the Kilroe River and the upper stretch of the Clare River with fingerling trout supplied by the Inland fisheries Trust through its Officers, Mr. Dan Goldrick and Mr Pat Day. 

Mass for deceased Members

Mass for deceased members of the club has been celebrated every year since 1972. On the 1st Sunday immediately after the Galway Races.

Anach Dhúin Drowning Memorial Monument

During late 1978 and early 1979 the club members erected the Anach Dhúin Memorial at the pier with the financial help of the of the people of Annaghdown to mark the one hundred and 15th  anniversary of the  drowning tragedy of 4th September 1828 when 21 people  from Annaghdown  were drowned in the river Corrib. The Monument was blessed by the late Archbishop Cunnane of Tuam,

Local Achievements

Through the instigation and pressure from the Club Galway County Council and Bórd Fáilte built the Mooring Base at the Pier and enlarged the Car Parking Space for the cars in 1975.

At a later date they erected Bollards at the entrance to the pier to prevent motor Vehicles access to the pier. The Club was also successful in having railings and a protective wall built around the swimming area of the pier to prevent the washing  of large animals such as horses in the children’s swimming area..

The club with the support of the locals succeeded in forcing the removal of a large rotten barge from the Annaghdown Pier and the Bay after an almost year long continuous protest during 1988.

Funds from these works came from the Club, Local Organisations, Galway Co. Co. and Udarás na Gaeltachta. On completion of this work, further funds were sourced from Local businesses to enable the construction of a number of Flower Beds, Stone Tables and seats for locals and visitors.

For many years Annaghdown Angling Club has been deeply involved in river enhancement and has provided funding for major work on the Kilroe (Cahermorris) river. In conjunction with Ballindiff and Kilbeg extensive work was carried out on the river at the Grotto location and more recently together with Ballindiff we eupervised and co-funded more extensivework on the river at Furey’s Mill.We have recently applied for funding from the IFI to further enhance the river around the Grotto.

In 2015 the Club approached Galway Rural Development and secured the services of a Community Employment Scheme to build a stone wall along the road leading to the Pier. Funding for this project came from the Club, a Local Organisation and a local business.

In 2015/16 a “Childrens Garden” was constructed in conjunction with the CES Scheme when local children invited to supply plants and shrubs to populate the Garden.

In 2016, in preparation for the new season, a series of mooring buoys were provided by the club at the outer wall to increase the berthing spaces and to facilitate Members.

While the Pier is designated as a Public Pier, the upkeep of the Green area, the Monument , the Childrens Garden and the general environs of the Pier is carried by  the club on an ongoing basis.

Member’s Achievement

Eugene Nolan has represented Ireland as a member of the T.A.F.I. World fly Fishing competition in Mosjoen , Norway, 2013. He Captained the TAFI World Trout Fly Fishing Team in Frymburk, Czech Republic 2014. Was also a member of the TAFI 5 Nations.

He is competitions Officer of the Connaught Angling Council, Hon Treasurer of the TAFI and has been selected recently   to the Inland Fisheries Forum.  (Oct 2017 to Oct 2018)

Trout Rod Licences

Rod Licence 1978

The Annaghdown Angling club enthusiastically opposed the proposal of a Rod Licence which was proposed in Dáil Eireann in 1978. Due to the total opposition of the angling clubs of Ireland the proposal was dropped.

Rod Licence 1987

In the last Dáil Session of 1987 the Government of  the late Mr .Charles Haughey T.D. passed  a Law which stated that as from the 1st January 1988 all Trout Anglers would have to purchase  a trout rod Licence  before they could fish for brown trout on the rivers and lakes of Ireland.

The law was immediately rejected by the anglers of Ireland. They believed this Law abolished the Personnel Freedom of the anglers and non-anglers of Ireland which existed for hundreds of years. The opposition to this Law led to the formation of the National Anti Rod Licence Campaign. As in 1978 the Annaghdown A.C. opposed any such Licence.

Mr Des Nolan, Chairman of the Annaghdown A.C. was elected Secretary of the Campaign.  In this capacity accompanied by his good friends Thomas Fox, R.I.P. and Sean Beatty, RIP both members of the A.A.C. he addressed Public Rallies of Anti Licence anglers and non anglers opposed to the Licence throughout the Country, in Eyre Square, Oughterard, Athlone, Nenagh, Ennis , Killarney, Drogheda, Crossmolina , Lough Allen, and Dublin.

He also attended meetings:

  • With Ministers Daly and the late John Wilson.
  • With Officers of the Dept of fisheries.
  • Officers of the various Political Parties.

He also represented the Campaign on Radio and well as being reported in the National and International Newspapers.

The battle for Freedom lasted two years and was won by the Campaign with the Law being removed from the Statute Book late in 1989.

Club Competitions

For many years the club ran 13 competitions per year. Three of the competitions were for Junior Competitor’s. In recent years this number has been reduced to 4 because the other cups and trophies were mislaid for one reason or another.

The cups now competed for during the year are:

  • The Freedom Trophy.
  • The Paddy Fahy Memorial Cup.
  • The Michael Kavanagh Memorial shield.
  • Paddy Cunningham Memorial cup.
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