IWAI Corrib

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Big Fish in Clonbur

Record catch has home in Clonbur

Excerpt from the Mayo News – 10 July 2012

by Willie McHugh

Welshman Ceri Jones hooked a place in angling records for Lough Corrib and the Joyce Country region when he landed a 24lb trout on the lake a few miles beyond Clonbur. It’s now officially recorded as the biggest fish ever caught on the Western lakes.
It has a permanent home now. On Friday night Ceri handed the fish over to Tigh Bhurca in Clonbur. This is its safe harbour forever more and no bait will lure it away again. And the big one who didn’t get away won’t be lonely either. Ciaran Burke’s wall of fame has other prize catches on display including a nineteen pounder Ceri reeled onto the Corrib shore a few years back.
Ceri is from the Rhondda Valley in South Wales. He’s been coming to this region for close on two decades.
Ceri tells of his attraction to the area.
“This place is the complete package for me. Between the lakes, the mountains, the beautiful scenery, the fishing but most of all the warmth and welcome of the people it has it all.”
And now Ceri has given something back.
“There was never a question of the fish going anywhere else. I got an opening offer of $5,000 from an American who collects such catches but I’d never even consider selling it. Clonbur is where the fish should stay and we’ve completed that part of the jigsaw by handing it over here tonight. I got local taxidermist John Thomas from Headford to stuff it and now it’s where I always want it to be.”
For a day job Ceri is an angling photographer. But it’s his telling account of the day that captures this famous fishing trip better than any film ever could.
“I knew I had a big one but it’s only when or indeed if you get it in the boat that you know exactly what you have. The reel was smoking and the rod was arcing almost to the point of snapping and then it eased.
“But he was still out there on the end of the line and it was only a matter of time and patience to play him. There was a north-easterly wind drifting me from Inchagoill across the main basin towards Dooras Bay.
“But I knew he was coming on down the lake with me. It was only when getting him from the water to the net that I realised this could go either way. There’s a thin line (Ceri does puns too) between hero and zero. Land him and they’ll remember you forever but lose him and it was only a one ah well comment in the pub that night.”
Last Friday was another lovely night in Burke’s of Clonbur when Ceri brought the fish back to his spiritual home. Burke’s well-appointed hostelry doesn’t do pomp and ceremony and yet they get decorum spot on. Newly elected Mayor of Galway County Tom Welby travelled from Oughterard and was put upon to say a few words. As he spoke eloquently to honour the occasion Fear a Ti Eoin Burke was scanning the gathering and he also landed a prize catch. Derek Davis of RTE ‘Live at Three’ fame was visiting in the region and when Eoin asked him to add his tuppence worth Derek didn’t disappoint. His lovely speech delivered completely off the cuff went down a treat. It was pitched with humour, sincerity and the words of a man who knew his topic intimately. Clonbur listened attentively and, only pity was, he didn’t keep on talking longer.
The story of Ceri and the giant trout leads down a romantic tangent too. Ceri had far nicer catch that May weekend when he hooked Jackie Lyons from back Connemara way. It was love at first sight and they’re still looking. Where else but in Clonbur would you get such a twist on angling’s oldest yarn.
It’s the story of the one that didn’t get away.

Corrib Fishing Record Broken

Biggest trout in 118 years caught in the west.

Excerpt from the Galway Advertiser – 31 May 2012

By Roisin Peddle

A giant trout weighing almost 24 pounds was caught on Lough Corrib last Saturday.

The ferox brown trout weighing 23lbs 12oz was landed near Inchagoill Island by Welsh photographer Ceri Jones.

Mr Jones, from Rhondda in Wales, had hooked the fish for about an hour before he managed to land it.

He is a freelance photographer with the British angling magazine Trout Fisherman and was visiting Galway as part of a press trip sponsored by Failte Ireland.

His work will feature in a series of articles on fishing on the west coast of Ireland, including Loughs Corrib, Carra, and Cullin.

Lough Corrib is one of the best wild brown trout fisheries in the world. The fish caught on Sunday was the biggest in over 100 years as the Irish record is still held by William Mears, who landed a brown trout weighing 26lbs 2oz from Lough Ennell in 1894. Ceri has been a regular visitor to Burkes Bar in Clonbur Co Galway since he first came to the village in 1987 and has a fish mounted in Burkes Bar which he caught last year which weighed in at 19lb-8oz.

It took Ceri just over 1 hour and 10 mins to land the monster fish and when asked how he felt about his achievement he smiled and said “I wonder if there is a bigger one out there.”

“Party” on Inchagoill


Letter published in the Galway Advertiser – May 24, 2012

Dear Editor,

On a recent family trip to Inchagoill Island we could hear music as we approached the island and realised there was a party going on. We proceeded into the bay to dock at the pier.

As we approached the pier, a young man, blind drunk, ran out to the pier shouting and waving a stick. He was swearing and menacing at the top of his lungs to keep away. We docked at the pier and were then approached by another man who asked if we intended to dock there, that there was another boat coming, and it would be docking there and for us to move. Then, another guy came up and asked if we were bothered by this? What do you say?

We had intended to park up and walk the island but couldn’t leave the boat anywhere near that pier, so we decided to go around to the other side of the island and leave the party goers and their organisers to their own devices.

We pulled up on the other side, had our picnic and went to walk around the church and graveyard. We heard them before we saw them. One of the men was urinating in the graveyard and there were discarded bottles.

I have no problem with licensed, organised events. But there has to be rules. There has to be a mechanism for the enforcement of these rules.

Who gives permission for parties on the island? What days are the parties scheduled for? (the public needs to know not to go on those days). Don’t let the island be vandalised. Keep the party area enclosed, no bottles, rubbish, or out of control antics outside that area. The organisers need to keep control and they should be licensed and insured for these events. They should be held responsible for the wellbeing of partygoers and the public’s property.

These ruins and gravestones are hundreds of years old. People lived on the island less than a hundred years ago. It shows a complete lack of respect for our heritage and people to encourage these parties; there are plenty of other islands or areas that would not be of such significance – to hold these parties. I can honestly say that the partygoers would probably not know the difference if it was held in a shed.

I have asked around to see who organised this event and was told that it was college students.

Name and address with editor

What are your views on this – let us know by leaving a comment – if you would like your comment to be anonymous then include the word ANONYMOUS at the beginning of your comment – if you would like your comment to be seen by the IWAI Corrib Committee only, and not displayed on the website, then include the word COMMITTEE at the beginning of your message.

IWAI Corrib Summer Rally – 2012

IWAI Corrib Summer Rally – 2012

by Paul Faller – Commodore of the 35th IWAI Corrib Summer Rally

The thirty-fifth IWAI Corrib Boat Rally is going to be held this summer on the weekend of 20-23rd July 2012. This is a couple of weeks later than the event is usually held. We took the decision to change the date because several of our cruising members have taken berths in the Galway Docks for the duration of the Volvo Ocean Race, and are planning “city break” holidays this year.

The Volvo Ocean Race Festival will take place in Galway from 30th June to 8th July 2012. Up to 12 Volvo ‘Open 70’ class boats are expected to arrive in Galway Docks on the penultimate leg from Lorient in France. Galway estimates well over 40,000 international visitors to the city which will give a welcome major tourism boost. The final leg of the race is expected to be a three-day race around Ireland before the finish in Galway Bay. As well as hosting the 10-day festival, Galway City will also host the closing ceremony for the Ocean Race.

The Corrib Rally will start at the Corrib Rowing & Yachting Club on Friday evening (20 July) with a function and meal in the clubhouse. The “Corrib Club” has been the scene for many the fine party since its founding in 1864. This lovely gushing report appeared in the Irish Times on 23rd August 1866:

“The Galway Corrib Club held their annual regatta on the splendid river of the Corrib at Menlo. The day was as fine as “sunshine and pageantry” could make it, and the ivy-mantled Castle of Menlo, the residence of Sir Thomas Blake was decorated with flags of all nations which waved gracefully in the breeze.

There was not a ripple on the bosom of the lake unless what was created by the oars of the several beautiful little crafts, which were constantly scudding up and down, the river, freighted with some of Nature’s fairest daughters.

There was a band in attendance and during the day discoursed some beautiful music. Great credit is due to the commodorand the members of the club for the satisfactory manner in which the whole arrangements were carried out. Although there were places of refreshment, there was not a man to be seen the worse for liquor, so that the whole affair was a complete success”.

The Rally will overnight at the riverside berths at the Corrib Club in Galway and set off after breakfast on Saturday morning up the Lower Lake to Kilbeg or Knockferry Pier (depending on the wind) for lunch. From then it’s onwards to Inchagoill for the second overnight. Inchagoill is a much-loved island, boosting picturesque scenery, mountain views, glorious walks, historic monuments and a pretty sandy beach. In former times the island was owned by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness and was part of the Ashford Castle estate. Today it is owned by the Irish State and “Duchas” protect its national monuments.

Just a short walk from pier where the Rally will stop over for the night, along a little path and through a stile, is the Church of the Saints. The doorway is Romanesque in style and is adorned by the heads of the ten saints of Lough Corrib, complete with plaited beards carved in sandstone. The altar stone is quite perfect, and it has two remarkable indented stones; they nearly always holding water, so we regard them as ‘holy water fonts’ and bless ourselves. On the western sidewall of the church, is a carved square cross, with fishtail terminations, no doubt of great antiquity and not unrelated to the stone described next.

A single four-sided obelistrical pillar of stone, standing about 30 inches high, in the adjoining graveyard is of special interest. Known as Lia Lugnaedon Macc Limenueh, it containing the earliest known Christian inscription in Europe. The inscription says, “the Stone of Lugnaedon, son of Limenueh,” the sister of St. Patrick.

Another plain little church is nearby. St. Patrick’s Church is a very early primitive church. There are no remains of the altar or any windows. The walls, which are a massive size, were restored by Sir Benjamin Lee Guinness, in what is termed Cyclopean work.

The island walk continues past the church and comes to the youngsters’ favourite place – the beach. Lovely warm, south facing location. Further onwards you pass the two-storied building known as the Coffee House. This is where the Guinness ladies and their visitors would enjoy summer picnics, admire the view towards the mountains, and sit in the comfort of the shaded ground floor safe in the knowledge that the rays of sunshine would not compromise their pale complexions. The ideal of feminine beauty was a white skin tone, untouched by the sun.

On Sunday we will travel to Maam Bridge stopping for lunch en route. The present-day Keane’s Pub at Maam Bridge was built by Alexander Nimmo (1783-1832) and was his home for many years.

Nimmo was a very private individual and little is known of his life outside of engineering. He had come to Ireland in 1810 to investigate draining and cultivating the bogs of Ireland.

In 1820 he was appointed engineer by the Commission for Irish Fisheries for the Western District. Thus began his great love affair with Connemara and its people. His most notable projects include the building of many piers and bridges around the Galway coastline, the founding of the village of Roundstone and the development of road from Oughterard to Clifden. He was motivated by his desire to improve the prosperity of the Connemara region and its people and opened up the area to transport and communication. Nimmo also maintained a residence in Dublin, possibly to facilitate his practice in England and the rest of Ireland. He died in Dublin in 1832 at the age of 49.

The Summer Rally will finish on Monday morning and this will give plenty of time for people to make the return trip to Galway in daylight.

This will be a great opportunity for those who are not familiar with the route from Galway to Maam, cruising the entire length of Corrib in safety and confidence. Cruising in company is a great way to get to know the lake. So wave goodbye to shore life and live on the lake for a weekend of good food, super company, glorious scenery and craic.

We would like to extend an invitation to the members of the Corrib Rowing and Yachting Club will join us in the Friday night function on Friday, July 20th.

Entry Forms, Itinerary, Safety Notes and Risk Assessment Statements will be posted out to all Corrib Branch members. Members from other Branches around the country are most welcome – please click here to download an IWAI Corrib Rally 2012 Entry Form.

Dunrovin Project – Information Meeting

Talk – Dunrovin Information Meeting

Dave McCabe of the IWAI’s “Dunrovin Sub Committee” will present the Dunrovin project to members.

The Dunrovin project was outlined in Inland Waterways News Summer 2011 edition. If you missed the opportunity to read the IWN article then a description of the project can be found by clicking here.

Many members have questions related to the project and its funding and his event is being held to inform and to answer members concerns and queries.

Visit the IWAI Discussion Forum here to see what questions and concerns members have regarding the project.

The location of the meeting has yet to be confirmed, but is likely to be:

on Tuesday 22nd May

at 8pm

at the Box in the Docks, Waterways Ireland Visitors Centre, on Grand Canal Quay, Dublin 2

– or –

at the Wellington Lounge (upstairs) on Upper Baggot St. (beside the Canal), Dublin 2

What do you think of the Dunrovin Project as a member of the IWAI Corrib Branch? Let the IWAI Corrib Committee know by leaving your comment below. If you would like to make a comment but would not like to see it published on this page, then insert the word private at the beginning of your comment.