IADA (Irish Angling Development Alliance) Chairman, Dick Caplice has slammed an article that appeared in this weekends Irish Independent, claiming that the lake contains polluted water. He claims that the piece stands the danger of damaging the good work that local angling clubs and tourist boards have done over recent years.
He told Pole Fishing: "Jim Cusack, the Irish independent reporter's article on the poisoning of drinking water on Lough Muckno and Lough Ross threatens our massive angling tourist initiatives of the past four years.
Mr Cusack is pictured with the wonderful lough Muckno resource in the background, whilst he holds a receptacle purporting to contain heavily contaminated water, despite daily and weekly patrols by our members to ensure that this is one of the cleanest and safest waters in the region and possibly in Ireland.
Whatever the motive for this article by Mr Cusack, it has the potential to do massive harm to the Angling tourist product in the area, which is at this time estimated to be worth about €3.5m annually (a ten fold increase), following a huge amount of effort and work by The Irish Angling Development Alliance, the local club Lough Muckno Festivals and Matches Group, the Muckno Community Partnership, Inland Fisheries Ireland and Monaghan County Council.
The Angling facilities and infrastructure have uniquely been upgraded to the best International Angling Centre standards in Ireland and is clearly now, one of the best in Europe, with massive potential to grow much more in the coming years.
I have personally had many calls from the UK and beyond asking what impact "this poisoning" is having on fish stocks and I am and can assure all of our hundreds of intended festival customers at home and abroad for 2015, that Lough Muckno is the best protected, best monitored and most invasive and pollutant free water in the entire region.
Our Festivals and Matches group membership, including the author continue to do, almost daily on water patrols throughout the Lough Ross and Lough Muckno system and can reassure all of our tourist and Festival anglers that no harmful discharges or residual deposits as described have occurred, that might cause any detrimental effect to the lake, its large stocks of healthy coarse fish trout and pike, or its clear safe drinking water.
Our views on criminal diesel laundering operations and their disposal of filthy harmful residue have on a number of occasions been aired and highlighted. The writer has been interviewed live on the subject more than once on national radio, when he took the opportunity to express our total revulsion for the practice and the people engaged in the practice.
We have had a number of very successful meetings with the excellent former minister O' Dowd surrounding the potential for disaster if this criminal activity is allowed to continue in the wider border region and we will at every juncture bring any evidence found of these operations to the attention of the relevant statutory authorities.
The tourist Angling product at lough Muckno (barring further bad press) will generate in the coming years, up to €5m annually for the local economy, a sum which might equate to the sighting of a small to medium sized factory in the area, in terms of economic activity.
We in the Lough Muckno Angling Matches and Festivals Group would ask that no further gratuitous or sensational material is proffered or written in pursuit of any agenda, that might damage or impair this great economic potential, in any irresponsible manner, such as in this Independent Newspaper Article."