Patrick Brown MLA last week met with DAERA officials to discuss next steps in responding to concerns raised by a new steering group, Clean up the Quoile. The group is a partnership between local anglers, politicians and Finnebrogue Artisan foods, aiming to bring stakeholders together to restore the Quoile River.
Mr Brown said: ‘I am delighted to be working with Clean up the Quoile on this project, which is so important to our community. Following the formation of the group, I wanted to meet with DAERA to discuss a number of important concerns raised at our previous meeting. We discussed the need for multi-agency action to address a range of problems at the Quoile, particularly low fish stock, pollution and eutrophication, and poor water flow. These are problems that impact both the angling community and the environment, and demonstrate a wider lack of investment in the area. I want to see numerous stakeholders come together to protect and preserve our river for our community.’
He continued: ‘The Quoile has a rich angling history, with anglers from all over the UK and Ireland travelling to fish here in the past. We have an opportunity to restore the Quoile to once more be a valued and thriving coarse fishery for all. Positive steps are beginning on this, and I welcome the construction of a new disabled anglers stand at the NIEA car park. This is something I have been campaigning for for sometime along with local anglers, after the construction of railings blocked access for those in wheelchairs when the car park was refurbished in 2020. But there is more that can be done by DAERA in their operation of the Quoile Countryside Centre, and we discussed further steps which can be taken, such as opening a café to boost visitors.’
He added: ‘The Quoile has the potential to be a jewel in the crown for our area, but to reach this goal we need a collective approach and an ambitious, positive vision. I welcome DAERA’s commitment to engage with the new steering group and other key stakeholders going forward, and look forward to working with these to restore the Quoile.’