Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) launched an ‘all abilities’ accessible angling facility in Cork which will enable wheelchair users to fish safely and conveniently.
The bespoke fishing platform at Shepperton Lake cost €106,000 to construct, and provides access to wheelchair users, and those with reduced mobility, to a section of the popular angling destination 3km from Skibbereen.
"The demand for accessible and safe infrastructure for wheelchair users and those with reduced mobility at Shepperton Lake was obvious, and we are looking forward to seeing many anglers enjoy our brand new facility," John Twomey, Fisheries Inspector with IFI, said.
The outdoor facility consists of a long boardwalk and a large accessible steel stand that can cater for up to four wheelchair anglers at a time, a new picnic area, and parking for six vehicles.
IFI hosted members of the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty on Friday for the official opening of the new amenity, following an extensive programme of works to transform the site to support inclusive angling.
“Our service users are thrilled with the new fishing podium at Shepperton Lake and will be able to enjoy a long season of fishing from now on," Sinéad Burke, Service Support Officer for the Irish Wheelchair Association said.
"We feel very grateful to work in partnership with the team from IFI."
IFI has collaborated with the Irish Wheelchair Association in Clonakilty for the past seven years, and in that period angling day trips to Shepperton Lake have increased in popularity among the latter’s members.
The initiative was co-funded by Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI) and the Department of Rural and Community Development.