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Fishing out of season for new diet

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Fishing out of season for new diet

Post by Admin on Wed 26 Sep - 14:53

Fishing out of season for new diet
CATCH WAS TO HELP CASTLEGREGORY MAN (47) IN HIS CHARITABLE CAUSE

By KEVIN HUGHES

Wednesday September 19 2012

A 47-YEAR- OLD Castlegregory fisherman caught using fishing nets during the closed season has claimed that the catch was to help him with a crash diet he was doing for charity.

Peter Hennessy, a married father-offour from Kilshannig West, appeared before Killorglin District Court on Friday where he faced five charges relating to two nets set on the shoreline near Kilshannig on November 27 last.

The court heard that Mr Hennessy and an unidentified man holding lamps were seen checking two salmon nets - one with a caught salmon - on the water's edge at approximately 10.30pm but dropped the nets and ran when two fisheries officers identified themselves.

Assistant Inland Fisheries Ireland Inspector Karen Griffin told the court how she had chased Mr Hennessy and caught up with him but he then swung his lamp three or four times hitting and knocked her. Ms Griffin said she caught hold of the defendant a second time but he continued hitting her with the lamp before Fisheries Officer Martin Ring came to her assistance.

After he was restrained and the fishery officers showed their warrants, Mr Hennessy identified himself but said that he did not know the second party whom he claimed had been passing by and gave a hand.

Asked if she had suffered any injuries, Ms Griffin said she had defended herself receiving only a bruised finger but had found the incident frightening.

"He is intimidating, he's a strong man," she told the court.

Defence solicitor Jerry O'Connor claimed his client, who was 23 stone at the time, had started a charity weight loss initiative four days earlier which lasted 12 weeks and eventually raised almost 14,000.

"Part of the diet involved the consumption of fish. His normal fishing is with gill nets on the water bed but not floating nets," the solicitor stated, adding that the defendant had not expected to catch salmon but pollock or other white fish. Mr O'Connor added his client had panicked in the dark and may not have known it was a female chasing him and had subsequently apologised for the incident for which he was "quite embarrassed".

Solicitor Vincent Coakley said the defendant knew the dates of the salmon season and therefore knew exactly what he was doing.

Judge James O'Connor convicted on charges of erecting a fixed net for the capture of salmon; wilfully fishing for salmon or trout during closed season; impeding a fisheries officer and having a salmon in his possession during closed season.

Mr Hennessy will now pay a fine of 300 plus expenses of 700. A charge of assault was struck out.
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