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Minister Needs to Listen to Stakeholders – Says New Marine Minister!

“The Minister needs to listen to the stakeholders in the industry. He is in a position of leadership and needs to bring people in this sector with him.”

Those were the words of the new Minister for the Marine, Charlie McConalogue of Fianna Fáil, in May when he criticised former Minister, Michael Creed and supported the country’s four fish producer organisations in their rejection of then Minister Creed’s Voluntary Fleet Tie-up Scheme during the Covid-19 pandemic.

Mr. Creed had not responded to the proposals put forward by the FPOs, Mr.McConalogue said. He accused Mr.Creed of risking “irreversible damage to a sector which supports over 16,000 jobs.”

Now the Donegal T.D. is the third man to be made Marine Minister in as many months. He had been appointed Minister of State at the Department of Justice and Equality with responsibility for law reform when the Coalition government was formed and has now been promoted. He comes from a farming background and was the party’s agriculture and marine spokesman. Aged 43, born in 1977, he was educated at Carndonagh Community School and studied at University College Dublin for a BA in Economics, Politics and history. He was elected to Donegal County Council in 2009 and also served as the Council’s Deputy Mayor. He was Connacht /Ulster representative on Fianna Fáil’s National Executive before his election to the Dáil and is a former chairman of Ógra Fianna Fáil in Inishowen. He was elected TD for Donegal North East in 2011 and re-elected in 2016, when he took on a more prominent role in the party and became involved in Government formation talks.

No Talks Yet Arranged On Penalty Points

As at this weekend, no talks have yet been arranged between the fishing industry and government about the Penalty Points controversy. Castletownbere-based West Cork TD Christopher O’Sullivan told the Irish South and West FPO last Sunday that he would seek to arrange a meeting.

The Chief Executive of the Irish Fish Producers’ Organisation (IFPO). John Ward, told the MARINE TIMES: “We would like to think we could have a meeting with the Minister and some compromises can be reached.”

There is more about this in our Podcast with Mr.Ward and you can read the full story revealing how the Statutory Instrument was reintroduced and what was done about it in the Department of the Marine in the September edition of the MARINE TIMES out now.