My name is Andrew Doherty.
I was born in 1965 and I have lived in the Cheekpoint area all my life. When I completed my schooling I turned to the family business, fishing. In the 1990's restrictions and government policies started to impact on the fishing practices in traditional villages such as Cheekpoint, and in 2006 the principal fishery, salmon drift-netting closed. In 2008 I wrote a dissertation on the plight of my community as a consequence of the closure.
In 2012 I started writing a blog, as a means of gathering my thoughts, particularly on the social situation in my own community and specifically on government inaction on preserving or supporting traditional fishing communities to remain viable. My means of expression in the blog also reflected the values, ethos and practices that I had grown up with. But then I started to realise that rather than banging on about how bad our situation was, perhaps people might respond better to a different type of message.
Through my blog I now hope to create an awareness, appreciation and perhaps an appetite for the preservation of the way of life I have grown up with. I also hope that in reading my thoughts, people might be encouraged to come visit with us here, and perhaps pay a small stipend towards seeing the area through a fisherman's eye. With my wife Deena I established Russianside Tours in 2014. In the last few years we have hosted many visitors and walking parties to learn about our community, the history, heritage, flora, fauna and wildlife. I can't claim to be making any major inroads into reversing my communities fortunes, but I can say at least that I am trying to do something positive.
My unending passion is researching and writing about our way of life and more fully understanding the history and heritage that surrounds us here. My blog is Waterford harbour tides'n'tales and it's published each Friday morning at 8am