From the Derry Journal archives...August 1989

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All salmon fishing on the River Foyle will be suspended with effect from Sunday next, August 6, because the prolonged spell of dry weather has resulted in an all time record low number of salmon returning to spawn in the Foyle system.

Fears for Foyle Salmon stocks - All salmon fishing on the River Foyle will be suspended with effect from Sunday next, August 6, because the prolonged spell of dry weather has resulted in an all time record low number of salmon returning to spawn in the Foyle system.

Announcing the ban on all netting for salmon in the Foyle area for the remainder of the 1989 season, and the suspension of angling in tidal waters of the River Foyle until September 1, Mr Gerard Crawford, secretary of the Foyle Fisheries Commission, told the ‘Journal’ that the Commission was legally required to implement the suspension, because the number of salmon counted returning to the Foyle system to spawn was well below what was required.

“Between January 1 and July 31, only 74 salmon were counted crossing the weir at Sion Mills on the River Mourne, far short of the figure of 6,000 salmon stipulated by the Foyle Area regulations,” they said.

Excrement smeared on confessional box - There has been widespread condemnation from both Church and political sources of an attack on St Joseph’s Church, Galliagh, in which vandals smeared excrement on the walls of a confessional box.

The attack has been described as “distressing” by Dr Edward Daly, Bishop of Derry, while Auxiliary Bishop, Dr Lagan, described it as “an act of hatred and mindlessness.”

Describing the incident, which was discovered by the church’s sacristan when he came to prepare the church for morning Mass, local priest, Fr Edward McGuinness, said vandals gained entry by breaking a decorated plate glass window. On entering the church they smashed up some St Vincent de Paul charity boxes but there would have been very little money in these.

Fr McGuinness said the vandals then “tossed” altar furnishings around and, using a fire extinguisher, broke two wooden doors.

Anger at destruction of trees at Glenowen - The Glenowen Fisheries Co-Op in Derry has expressed concern over the lack of protective fencing at the Glenowen reservoirs in Creggan, following the widespread destruction of trees in the area by local youths believed to be preparing bonfires for August 15.

A spokesperson for the group said they had plans for the protection and upgrading of the area and they had already intervened to stop some tree cutting.

However, they lacked resources to deal adequately with the problem.

The spokesperson pointed out that since the start of the summer weather there had been numerous calls from various representatives of the local community for the securing of the reservoirs.

According to the Co-Op, the reservoir, which at peak level is some 43 feet in depth, poses a real danger to local children and youths who have been using the area for recreation and swimming.