Mulkear LIFE’s salmon run photo is a hoax

We shared a photo this week of salmon leaping the weir at Annacotty on the River Mulkear, Limerick, on our Facebook page. We shared this photo from MulkearLIFE’s website in good faith, and were fully taken in by this photo, as were many of the followers of our site. The photo purports to show six salmon jumping the weir at the same time, and is quite spectacular.

The photo is in fact a Photomontage and is not real

On their website MulkearLIFE state “Annacotty weir on the Mulkear River provided a wonderful backdrop this week for the amazing sight of large numbers of Atlantic Salmon running the weir” and say that “this annual phenomenon was photographed with great skill by Dominic Moloney“. The Mulkear Life web page can be accessed here.

Annacotty salmon run
The photomontage created by well known and respected photographer Dominick Moloney. A great image, but this is not reality.

However, as we have now found out – all is not what it seems. This photo is in fact a Photomontage and is not real. As with many things put forward by MulkearLIFE, this photo does not stand up to scrutiny and is a fake. We believe that MulkearLIFE deliberately tried to mislead people by publishing this fabricated photo on their website. They wanted to create the impression that their project was a success when in reality it has been a failure, in our opinion. The photographer, Dominick Moloney, also posted this photo on his website, but he clearly states that it is a “Montage”. This means that it is a photo assembled from several images using a computer program.

As with many things put forward by MulkearLIFE, this photo does not stand up to scrutiny and is a fake

MulkearLIFE has also claimed that they developed an effective ‘lamprey pass’. However, they again only showed that this worked using dubious photographic and anecdotal evidence. This organisation also undertook a month of major instream works – including removal of a major weir on the river and mobilising hundreds of tonnes of silt – during the sea lamprey spawning season and within the SAC. This work was undertaken in breach of the requirements of the EU Habitats Directive and in the absence of an Appropriate Assessment. The fact that this damage was done to the SAC using funds drawn down from Europe requires investigation and we believe that Mulkear LIFE should be made return the money. This organisation and their ill conceived project was such a failure that their end of project conference attracted a major and unprecedented demonstration. They are now resorting to fake photos to create the impression of success – where there is none.

Further details of the significant environmental impacts of MulkearLIFE’s activities can be found here:-

Discussion in relation to their failure to provide scientific evidence for their ‘lamprey pass’ can be found here:-

Mulkear LIFE has, with the Ballycough weir removal, the design of their lampreys passes, and using a fabricated photo this week, taken short-cuts that have damaged their reputation and the Lower River Shannon SAC. The benefits for lampreys and other species that were promised and paid for by the EU have not been delivered. We are disappointed that this was not in fact a photo showing a huge run of salmon, and were as excited as many followers of our page when we saw this image first. However now that it has been shown to be a fake we again put forward that we believe that there needs to be an EU investigation into the activities of MulkearLIFE.

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