Environmental Organisations


Whilst the organisations don’t tend to change, the people often do and therefore I have given links to organisations but have generally avoided naming individuals.

International Union for the Conservation of Nature (IUCN)

Red lists and Red Data Books

European Union (EU formerly EEC & EC)

Habitats Directive

Bird’s Directive

Water Framework Directive

Council of Europe

Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

Have staff working in the region that are based in Castlebar, Co Mayo

Inland Fisheries Ireland (IFI)

Marine fisheries are dominated by commercial interests and these have been supported by research surveys and by fisheries protection activities.  In north-west Ireland, research activities have for many years involved professional surveys of inshore and deep water resources such as those published in Green (1891) and Holt (1892).  From the very beginnings of the Irish Free State the Anglo-Irish Treaty of 1921 gave responsibility to the Irish government to police sea fishing.  In 1923 the ‘Coastal and Marine Service’ was temporarily established but real progress came when the ‘Maritime Institute of Ireland’ was founded in 1941 and were given the function of fisheries research, promotion and protection.  Then the Irish Naval Service was formed in 1946 and since the 1970’s a major role for the Navy has been the provision of fisheries protection in Ireland's exclusive economic zone (EEZ) which is the 200 mile (370 km) sea zone etending from the coast that was agreed through the United Nations ‘Convention on the Law of the Sea’.

The potential of recreational fisheries was recognised in these early days of the Irish State and information booklets were published to attract British and other tourists (Fisheries Branch, Department of Agriculture (1924; 1930 & 1937) The Angler’s Guide to the Irish Free State).  These booklets gave greatest emphasis on game angling (Atlantic Salmon, Brown Trout and Sea Trout) but also covered coarse freshwater fishing and sea angling. In 1951 a new structure was put in place to manage and promote recreational fishing in the Republic of Ireland which was headed by an umbrella organisation called the Inland Fisheries Trust with regional Boards of Conservators being established that generally worked at a local catchment level.  The Fisheries Research Centre was established at Abbotstown, County Dublin to gather and publish data on fish populations, diseases etc.  During this period some interesting work was carried out on Blue Sharks, skates and rays to tag individuals for us to understand their migrations and life histories.  This structure was very successful and ran up to 1979, then in 1980 the Central Fisheries Board and seven Regional Fisheries Boards were established under the Department of Fisheries with the research facility continuing to serve the central and regional boards (Fisheries Act of 1980).  The Central Fisheries Board had the function of developing angling tourism, increasing public awareness, coordinating the Regional Boards and some research such as trying to find out why species like European Eels, Atlantic Salmon and Sea Bass were declining.  The 300 regional employees were mainly involved in fisheries protection and riverbank maintenance - such as the removal of overhanging vegetation, making riverbeds suitable for salmonid egg-laying sites (redds), path maintenance and fishing stands.

Three Fisheries Boards included parts of either County Sligo or Leitrim within their areas which were based on river catchments. Management of the environment on a catchment basis makes perfect sense and administrative boundaries such as County Sligo and County Leitrim are not a good way to manage natural habitats.


National Parks & Wildlife Service (NPWS)

District Conservation Officer (DCO)

Conservation Rangers (none in Sligo; 1 in Leitrim)

Local headquarters in Glenveigh National Park, Donegal and local office in Ballinafad


Sligo County Council

Heritage Officer

Pollution Officers

Litter Warden

Leitrim County Council

there is no Heritage Officer

Pollution Officer

Litter Warden

Institute of Technology, Sligo

Lecturers in Environmental Science include Geologist, Ecologists, Microbiologist, Chemists

For those wanting a deeper understanding of our environment there are degree courses in Environmental Protection and Environmental Science given in the Institute of Technology, Sligo.

BirdWatch Ireland (Sligo Branch)

Committee of about 10 individuals

Sligo Field Club                               

An Taisce

Branch for Sligo, Leitrim and Roscommon established in 2011

BirdWatch Ireland, Sligo Field Club and An Taisce all welcome new members and often arrange talks and field outings as well as acting as independent monitors and pressure groups regarding environmental issues.