/Ireland’s fishery sector sold out by the government, claims The Rural Independents – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Ireland’s fishery sector sold out by the government, claims The Rural Independents – TheLiberal.ie – Our News, Your Views

Rural Independent TD Michael Collins has blasted the government’s sell-out of the fishing industry by stating:

“I have been consistently calling on the government and especially the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue to be straight with the fishery sector and the public on why he has effectively sold-out the entire sector during the Brexit negotiations.”

“The government and the Minister have attempted to downplay the impact of the damage to the Irish fishery sector through constant spin. For instance, on Christmas Eve Minister McConalogue claimed that the total loss to Ireland’s fishermen would be €34 Million following the agreed Brexit deal, with the Minister shockingly spinning that this somehow represented a fair deal. Not only is the Minister’s position astonishing, it is also represents a deep betrayal of the entire sector and every coastal community.”

“The latest analysis released by Officials in the Department of the Marine illustrates how out of touch the Minister really is on this issue. The preliminary analysis now confirms that the transfer of quota shares from Ireland is a staggering 27 per cent higher than the Minister initially announced. The official report indicates a total loss to Ireland’s fishermen of €43 Million by 2026, with the mackeral sector, which is the most valuable to the Irish fleet, hardest hit, with a 26 per cent cut in our quota share, worth €28.6 Million.”

“Around 60 per cent of this cut will emerge in 2021, so the impact will be felt immediately.”

“The enormity of the difference between what the Minister stated and the actual figure merits a full investigation. Such gross incompetence is intolerable and will cost thousands of jobs and end livelihoods around our coast,” continued Deputy Collins.

“Incredibly, the new data from Department officials highlights that Ireland has given away a greater percentage of quota than France or Spain and most other European countries. In fact, the Irish fishing industry representatives have predicted that the loss could be as high as €85 Million when the cost to additional businesses dependent on fishing are included.”

“The Minister and the government’s attempts to spin their way out of this saga will not be tolerated. Accountability and transparency is now needed. Minister McConalogue has wilfully presided over the destruction of the entire sector. Ireland has suffered – an overall 15 per cent of quota loss, according to this new data. Meanwhile, France has lost just 8 per cent and Spain only 4 per cent.”

“My colleagues in the Rural Independent Group and I, will challenge this Minister and the government at every turn on this crucial issue. We stand with fishermen and coastal communities. For years the Irish Fishery sector has been let down by successive governments and now we see it occurring again. I have already been forcefully seeking an early re-call of the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Food and the Marine in order to investigate this matter.”

“However, given the gravity of this situation and the new analysis, which are completely contradictory to the Ministers stated position, I am calling for the Minister for the Marine and the Taoiseach to make a statement to the Dail on this matter of national sovereignty and economic importance. TDs must be given an opportunity to raise the concerns of the sector on the floor of the Dail and the government must end the spin and tell the truth on this issue,” concluded Deputy Collins.

Tell us your thoughts in the Facebook post and share this with your friends.

Share this story