Lee Valley Enterprise Board and Macroom Town Council have created this website to promote all aspects of the town of Macroom and the beautiful Lee Valley in which it lies. Here you will find information about the business and enterprises of the area, the schools and clubs that provide education and recreation for its people and news of the people themselves in the Lee Valley Outlook pages.
Some of the 125 competitors in the World Feeder Fishing Championships at Coachford © Lee Valley Outlook
Teams from 25 countries came to Coachford on Thursday July 17th for the Parade of Nations and the official opening of the 4th World Feeder Fishing Championships. The teams - with between 10 and 20 members each - lined up in their team colours and paraded through the village of Coachford to the GAA Hall behind Ballingeary Pipe Band. A member of Coachford Foróige led each team, carrying a placard with its name, while the team captain carried the nation's flag. The reigning World Champions, South Africa, led the teams and hosts, Ireland, completed the line-up. A large crowd of supporters and locals gathered in the village to view the colourful spectacle while the local Community Association laid on Face Painters, Balloon Modellers and other entertainment for those coming to see this unique parade.
The village was in festive mode as children and adults enjoyed the parade in glorious sunshine. Coachford resident Shelia Sheehan said "I never thought I'd see the day that people from Kazakhstan, Moldova and Russia would be parading on our streets and being cheered on by all present. It's absolutely great to see." The shops and pubs did a roaring trade and an expert team of stewards kept traffic disruption to a minimum and made sure the army of children were kept safe. The village was decked out in colourful buntings and flags and everyone along the route of the parade was determined to cheer on every country, but especially Ireland.
A lone piper led the teams into the packed hall and each team presented its flag to the Mayor of Cork County, Cllr Alan Coleman, as a short version of their national anthem was played in the background. A huge cheer and a standing ovation greeted the Irish flag bearer, Corkonian, Ken Ince, as he presented the final flag, the tri-colour.
The Mayor then addressed the competitors. He praised the organisers for bringing the championships to Ireland, to Co. Cork and to Coachford.. He thanked those responsible for the new facility on the river Lee and praised the vision of Cork County Council for getting involved at an early stage of the development. Mr. Oliver McGauley, President of the National Course Fishing Federation of Ireland, welcomed his fellow fishing enthusiasts to the Lee Valley. He had huge praise and thanks for the people of Coachford for the most fantastic welcome. Mr. Michael Creed T.D. who was one of those instrumental in securing the funding to complete the very fine venue on the River Lee, also addressed the audience and had huge praise for Fermoy man, Tommy Lawton who is the chief organiser of the world championships. Mr. Creed spoke of the mammoth task that was carried out to secure the venue and the Championships. He also praised the good work of the community and the Inniscarra Lake Tourism Development Company.
Mr. Frank Barry of the ESB underlined how important the Inniscarra Lake reservoir is to the ESB and how vital course fishing events like this are to the economy of the area. Dr. Kieran Byrne, CEO Inland Fisheries Ireland, said there was no reason that more international fishing events could not come to the River Lee venue and thanked all involved for making the dream of a few the reality for many.
The world Championships were officially opened by Mr. Claudio Matteoli, President of the International Fresh Water Sport Fishing Federation. In his speech he welcomed all the competitors and said that although the Feeder Championships were relatively new in terms of the other freshwater championships, the 2014 games in Ireland have attracted the most teams ever.
The competition over the two days was enthralling and the spectacle of over 150 fishermen fishing on the banks of the Lee had to be seen to be believed. The fishing was superb with Ireland landing over 600 fish on Saturday alone and earning their first ever team medal in International Course Fishing World championships in over 50 years. Huge crowds turned out to witness the final days fishing in which England took the Gold medal. The atmosphere in the GAA Hall at the Medal ceremony was electric and as Ireland was announced as Silver Medal Winner, chants of 'Óle Óle Óle' broke out across the hall, to the amusement of the Spanish team and many of the other nations present.
In his closing speech Mr. Claudio Matteoli praised the organisers and the venue and had a special word of thanks to the people of Coachford who he said were the most welcoming community that he had ever encountered in all his years travelling the world to fishing events. He hopes to return for some fishing in Ireland over the next two years and said that he would not be surprised if another World or European Championships will be held at the fantastic venue in the near future.
Deirdre O'Donovan, Chairperson of the Community Council said, "The world championships were a great success for everyone involved and we are delighted that they went off so well. The visitors to the area were overwhelmed by the welcome they received and many of them have promised to return. It was great to see the business people benefiting and the huge investment by the Inniscarra Lake Tourism Development Company and the NCFFI into the venue really paid off. They should be congratulated for their vision and commitment. But without doubt the real heroes of this championship week were the people of Coachford. I am extremely proud of all those who helped in any way in making this event such a huge success. Everyone who got involved did so wholeheartedly and they pulled out all the stops throughout a wonderful week in the village. They showed tremendous pride in their village and area and again I would like to thank this huge team of volunteers."