Following legal advice the Department of Communications, Climate Action and Environment has informed Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) that it does not have explicit power to prosecute offences under the Fisheries Acts.
The Department has also advised that pending the enactment of amending legislation, which is currently being processed, Inland Fisheries Ireland summonses for such offences presently before the Courts should not proceed.
Inland Fisheries Ireland is considering whether fresh summonses can be issued at a later stage when the amending legislation is in place in respect of all or some of the alleged offences concerned.
Inland Fisheries Ireland has also been advised that cases that have already been finally disposed of by the Courts are not affected. The Department has advised that it is intended that amending provisions will be in place within a matter of weeks, well within the statutory period of the 6 month timeframe for the initiation of proceedings following the date of alleged offences. Consequently anyone who commits an alleged offence will still be liable to prosecution.