Donagh McSherry in the green T-shirt of Ireland as he prepares to take part in the World Coarse Young Angling Championships in Slovenia.

Donagh lands world angling spot

A Nenagh teenager with a passion for angling has become so skilled at the pursuit that he is on the Irish Under 20 team competing in the World Coarse Angling Youth Championships being staged this week in Slovenia.

Donagh McSherry was literally born into a world of angling, being a son of Kevin and Lorraine McSherry, proprietors of the Open Season store in Pearse Street, Nenagh that has specialised in angling and outdoor pursuits retailing for decades.

The Nenagh CBS student was introduced to angling by his father Kevin at a very early age.

“I was always into fishing really,” says Donagh. “When I was very young my dad used to take me out fishing for pike on Lough Derg and I just loved it.

“I caught my first pike in Scariff Harbour when I was about eight-years-old and I was literally hooked after that.”

Donagh's passion for angling grew and he was eventually drawn to specialise in coarse angling, which involves the pursuit of a category of species defined as “rough fish”, or types of fish generally not considered for the dinner table.

These would be fish such as roach and bream that abound in lakes such as Lough Derg but seldom if ever end up as a meal and anglers who catch them generally return them to the water alive.

“I just got going at the coarse fishing and got in to the competitive end by taking part in a few matches and things took off from there,” Donagh reveals.

He adds: “Coarse fishing is very addictive, really. There are a lot of things you have to figure out and it can be very technical, which is part of the attraction.”

Earlier this year he took part in the World Championship qualifiers held in Lough Muckno in County Monaghan and performed so well that the national team selectors called him up to wear the green blazer and represent Ireland at the World's in Slovenia.

Donagh and the other four members of the Irish team have spent months preparing for this week's big event, which involved fishing stints on lakes across the country.