Weather hits the sea angling festival in Belmullet, County Mayo an event popular with anglers from Northern Ireland.
Fishing in the normally sheltered inner bay of Ballyglass near Belmullet in County Mayo is proving difficult for those attending the International Sea Angling Festival. Just two pier fishermen rather than the usual 200 deep sea anglers are out in the elements, trying their luck.
Among the disappointed anglers is a huge contingent from the North of Ireland, unhappy they cannot demonstrate their sea angling skills. Many of the faithful festival attendees from East Belfast, Carrickfergus in County Antrim and from North Down have been coming to the festival since the late 1960s.
The attraction of Belmullet is good fishing, but there is more to it than that. Belmullet resident Buddy Valkenburg explains the competition has been building in popularity since 1968 when four anglers came to Blacksod in County Mayo. In 1982 this figure grew to over 80 competitors from Northern Ireland. Bord Fáilte and Central Fisheries Board are supportive of the festival as are the townspeople.
Anglers say there is great camaraderie at the Belmullet festival and everyone is made feel welcome and at home.
Belmullet has a better type of friendship, it’s a long lasting friendship.
Veteran angler Sam Harris of the 'Angling Times' does not believe Belmullet with is great fishing makes the most of its tourist potential.
I've never met such friendly people in my life.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 7 September 1983. The reporter is Derek Davis.