MINISTER EAMON RYAN has dismissed the remaining members of the Board of Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI).

Ryan, the Minister for the Environment, Climate and Communications, made the decision following the resignations of five members from the board.

Since April 2022 five members, including the chairperson Professor Frances Lucy, have resigned – leaving the board unable to make key decisions.

As reported by the Irish Times last week, only three non-executive members remained in place – leaving the board without a quorum and therefore unable to make decisions.

The IFI has been hit by a series of controversies over the past two years, including that a number of its vehicles were uninsured.

In a statement released today, the Department of the Environment, Climate and Communications said that Ryan has exercised his powers under Section 18 of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010 and “has removed the current members of IFI on a no-fault basis”.

Ryan thanked the outgoing board members for their service to IFI. He intends to appoint new members to the board, in accordance with the provisions of the Inland Fisheries Act 2010, “as soon as possible”.

“To ensure that IFI is in a position to perform its functions effectively as quickly as possible, Minister Ryan has also used his powers under Section 18(5) of the Act to appoint Mr Tom Barry and Mr Seamus Neely to perform the functions of IFI pending the appointment of a new, full Board through the statutory appointments process, with the support of the Public Appointments Service (PAS),” a spokesperson noted.

“In addition to the core functions of IFI, set out under Section 7 of the Inland Fisheries Act, Minister Ryan has instructed Mr Barry and Mr Neely to prioritise the full and prompt consideration of a number of protected disclosures which are understood to have been received by IFI in recent months.

“These could not be progressed by the Board of IFI as a result of the recent resignations. As appointees under Section 18, Mr Barry and Mr Neely will also be mandated to take any follow-up actions that may arise from the protected disclosures processes.”

The spokesperson added that Ryan has also instructed Barry and Neely to oversee the preparation of a governance review of IFI to be delivered within the next three to six months.

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