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Fisheries aid package “welcome but not what’s wanted”

9th Oct '19: A €14million fisheries aid package, to be distributed in the event of a ‘No-deal’ Brexit, announced in Budget 2020 has been met with a lukewarm response from KFO CEO, Seán O’Donoghue.

“While any funding directed into fisheries would typically be welcomed, this is a horse of a different colour. In essence, this is effectively a glorified redundancy payment for many of our members who have put their hearts and souls into developing businesses in the most hazardous and challenging work environment on earth. Moreover, it would be available for a very limited time only thereby ignoring the long-term, grim, commercial ramifications on our industry, of Britain exiting the EU without a deal,” said Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, CEO, Seán O’Donoghue.

“State aid rules would also have to be amended in order for the package to be drawn down. We implore an orderly transition on November 1st in the event that a deal cannot be agreed between Britain and the EU. Should Irish and other EU fleets be denied access to UK waters after midnight on October 31st next, there will be flash points all across Europe in scenes potentially reminiscent of the cod wars of the 1940s, ‘50s and ‘70s,” concluded Mr O’Donoghue.


In the middle of interviewing Adrian O’Connell about how he built fishing boats at Clifden in county Galway, he told me that “Garrett Fitzgerald’s handing over of the fishing industry to Europe,” caused the closure of his yard and many other small boatyards around the country. That was something I hadn’t heard before and it took the interview in another direction from where it had started out – which was to explore why he was starting a project at Kilrush Boatyard in County Clare to build yachts which he has designed, based on the famous Galway Hookers.

The Kilrush yard is on the edge of the Shannon Estuary and, after a period of difficulty which he explains in the interview, it is back in action at an impressive location, with a lot of skilled people.

He is the main subject of this edition of my fortnightly maritime radio programme, THIS ISLAND NATION, which you can hear here on the Marine Times website. You can also read more about Adrian’s life as a boat builder in the October edition of the Marine Times, where he is the featured monthly interviewee.

What he has to say is certainly interesting and so is the news which I got from the offshore islands that the civil servants who have been appointed to the new Inter-Departmental Committee to formulate government policy for the islands, don’t want islanders to be members of the Committee.

Their reason, apparently, is that they wouldn’t feel able to speak freely if islanders were present. So they intend to discuss and formulate policy for the offshore islanders, but don’t want to ‘speak freely’ in front of the people who live on those islands.

Is there not something amiss about that attitude?

You can hear more about this on the programme.

We are always on the look out for photos and news from around the coast and from all our harbours so please do send them on to us via email to

October issue in shops from Friday 4th October

  • Minister Announces New Funding to Help Seafood Enterprises Develop Export Markets

    Scheme will help mitigate Brexit impacts through market diversification

    The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed, T.D, has announced details of a new Scheme to support seafood enterprises to develop export markets and mitigate the potential effects of Brexit.  The Seafood Scaling and New Market Development Scheme is being launched under Ireland’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Operational Programme 2014-20, co-funded by the Government of Ireland and the European Union. 

  • Coast Guard Volunteers Want Union Representation

    Report by Tom MacSweeney

    The Communication Workers’ Union which has been representing Volunteer members of the Coast Guard in disputes within the organisation, has told CG management that there should be independent advice available to the Volunteers “during conflict with management.”

  • KFO Warns of Port Blockades and Widespread Chaos

    “A ‘no-deal’ Brexit will bring flash points and conflict at sea” – KFO CEO

    The Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation has issued a stark warning that failure to achieve an orderly Brexit will precipitate “chaos and conflict at sea” with port blockades across Europe being a very real prospect.

    Pick up a copy in your local shop or online »


Bord Iascaigh Mhara to Increase Visibilty of Women in Ireland’s Seafood Industry

Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM), Ireland’s Seafood Development Agency, today, 6th March 2018, launched a promotional campaign to profile the important role women play in Ireland’s Seafood Sector. The Irish Seafood Sector contributed €1.15 billion to Ireland’s GDP in 2017. However women’s participation in the industry remains low. Just over one in ten (11.7%) employees in fishing, forestry and agriculture sectors in Ireland is female. This is significantly lower than the EU average of 36.9%. ‘I'm Trudy McIntyre, from Dunmore East, Co Waterford. I'm the daughter of a fishing family and now the wife of a fisherman, Shane McIntyre with two young daughters. I came into fishing through my father, spending time with him when he was out working on the boat.'


The Future of the Legendary Galway Hookers

The legendary Galway Hookers are the subject of our monthly interview in which the Chairman of Cumann HúcéirÍ na Gaillimhe, the Galway Hookers Association, Dr. Michael Brogan, talks to Marine Times Deputy Editor, Tom MacSweeney, about the future of these iconic West of Ireland boats and says they are a maritime art, the preservation of which deserves official support. The sight of a Galway Hooker under full sail is a wonderful spectacle, which can lift the heart of anyone with a maritime feeling. To helm one is even more stirring – and demanding. The feeling of power which comes through the tiller is astonishing, as I found on the helm of the MacDuach, the biggest of the Hookers.

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary »

Great Lighthouses of Ireland RTE Documentary

Irish Lights has announced its involvement in a four-part documentary series with RTE 1 that tells the story of Ireland’s lighthouses and the associated aids to navigation network around the island of Ireland and the vital role it plays in ensuring safety at sea for all. The documentary, Great Lighthouses of Ireland, illustrates Irish Lights’ leading role in safe navigation at sea from the 1800s to the present day, and the advances that have taken place in relation to Aids to Navigation from an engineering and technology perspective during this period.

opinion »

Segmentation of Fleet Capacity

Art Kavanagh: I remember some years back being at a presentation from a County Manager – as they were called at the time which he entitled “Running the County as a Business”. Since then the title of County Manager has been replaced with the title of “Chief Executive” which is probably more appropriate given the size of the Business actually being managed with Huge Budgets, large Numbers of Employees and responsibilities for many aspects of life within the County.

Rogues Gallery in the Marine Times Newspaper

    Joefy checking images and of his 'younger days' in the September issue of the Marine Times in Power's Centra in Dunmore East - Photo courtesy William Power

    Video Gallery on the Marine Times Newspaper website

      If you would like a picture of your crew in the Marine Times print edition or your video to appear on our website please email us at