Fishery Officer is viciously assaulted on a Kerry river bank

A Fishery Officer was viciously assaulted while working on his own on a Kerry river bank, a meeting of the South Western Regional Fisheries Board has been told. There are now calls on The Departments of the Marine and Justice to provide more resources to The Board for policing the coastline and rivers of Kerry and Cork. Board members heard how the officer saw a sea trout being landed by a lone angler on the River Maine and asked to see the man’s licence. Two other men then appeared and the three viciously and without provocation, beat the officer. Gardai are investigating the incident. At The Fishery Board’s meeting in Macroom last night, Vice-Chairman Jerry Keating said staff are stretched to the limit. He said the Department of the Marine doesn’t seem to realise the danger faced by some 22 officers who have to cover a big area. The meeting also heard claims that officers are a target for poachers who are aware of staffing levels. Another representative, John Harrington described the assault as most serious. He said if a Garda were beaten up, there would be holy war. Mr Harrington said the board must write to The Marine Minister, seeking a meeting on the matter.