Load of rubbish: International anglers faced with mess

FERMANAGH’S lakelands are renowned for their beauty, but walk along the Queen Elizabeth Road and you’ll see something completely different.
Just off one of the busiest roads in the town you’ll come across unsightly rubbish has strewn along the river bank of the Erne.
Approaching the tourism season and annual fishing competition on the Erne the build-up of rubbish has been accumulating over several weeks. Unsightly to the eye the plastic bottles, carry out containers and even a beer barrels.
Fred Ternan from Lough Erne Heritage said it was unsightly, especially within the town boundary.
“Last August we did a row around the island and it was full of rubbish, stuff that is disposed of quickly by passers by or some using the water.
“But often this rubbish gets caught up around submerged tree branches or weeds around the riverside. They trap things like bottles and plastic containers and it becomes very unsightly,’ said Mr Ternan. “I really don’t know who is responsible for clearing it up. I feel it is between the Council and Waterways Ireland.”
Award winning paddler Gerry Murphy regularly canoes around the island town and agrees, “it’s not very pleasant. It doesn’t bode very well for visitors to the area.”
“I row or paddle that stretch regularly and have notices a build up of rubbish recently. It’s very unsightly, especially the plastic bottles. Once they drift into towards the weeds at the water’s edge they just can’t get out again.”
Just last Sunday the Spring Angling League competition started up with fishermen casting off the platforms on the rivers edge.
Keen angler Jack Tisdall felt it was irresponsible of people to throw their rubbish in the river and said it showed no courtesy towards the environment.
“Often when we’re sitting fishing on the river banks we often see people throwing bags and cigarettes from the windows of their cars. We tend not to use the platforms near the top of the Queen Elizabeth Road, but we often see rubbish around the places where we do fish and when you think of it the Classic fishing festival is just around the corner.”
He is unsure whose responsibility it is to clear the rubbish, DAERA, the Council or Waterways Ireland, but agrees that something needs to be done to take away the unsightly rubbish.
The Council was unable to comment on the issue this week.

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