Saturday, May 11 saw the first ever Fisheries Awareness Day run in Daingean by a collaboration of the Grand Canal Water Sports and Leisure group and the Irish Angling Development Alliance.
The event was staged at the Castle Barna golf club which is fronted by the Grand Canal. The aim of the event was to introduce angling to all ages but with the emphasis on getting more kids involved. With qualified coaching being provided, along with some visual displays and demos, kids from all over Offaly descended on the event with great enthusiasm.
Despite the weather, it definitely did not dampen the spirits of those involved and in between the frequent rain showers saw big numbers coming along to see what was happening.
For practically all it was their very first experience of fishing and some went that step further and caught their very first fish. It was great to see so many wanting to have a go and try it out for the first time. It was also very noticeable that the ratio of boys to girls at times leaned to the girls, proving it is a sport of all. It should be noted, all fish caught were released unharmed at the end of the day.
A big thanks to all who made it possible, the team from the Irish Angling Development Alliance, especially Geoff Quinn, the IADA’s Youth Development Officer who made the trip from Newry to help out, also thanks to Peter Walsh and Fergal Scully. The bait for the day was kindly sponsored by Tooman Bait and Tackle in Carrick on Shannon. Thanks also to Castle Barna Golf Club for allowing us to pitch our stand close to their course and the use of their facilities and to the committee members of the Grand Canal Water Sports and Leisure for their assistance.
Due to the overwhelming response we will shortly be starting a Junior Angling club in Daingean which will see more coaching and another Awareness Day planned for later in the year.