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Support for Irish Fishermen Needed

The government is understood to have accepted that significant support will be needed for fishing communities whether or not a Brexit deal is agreed. Amongst proposals being considered by government, the Marine Times has been told, is a ‘tie-up’ scheme, the nature of which has not been disclosed. This paper has been told that Marine Minister Charlie McConalogue and Public Expenditure and Reform Minister Michael McGrath have discussed what might be needed.

“I will not be found wanting in defending Irish interests or in delivering on key, targeted supports if necessary and I will continue to stand by our fisheries sector, “ Minister McConologue told the national media. He referred to supports which could be made available within EU frameworks, but not all sectors of the industry are pleased with his comments.

“We remember the tie-up scheme for Covid when what the industry needed was completely disregarded and we see more concern and support for farming than fishing in the government’s attitude,” the Marine Times was told by a leading figure in one of the national representative organisations.

Bertie Ahern’s Support For Uk Doesn’t Please Irish Fishermen

Former Taoiseach Bertie Ahern, under whose Fianna Fáil party government administration the dedicated Department of the Marine was abolished, showed his lack of knowledge of fisheries when supporting the UK’s attitude to the Brexit talks and the difficult negotiations over fisheries. He said that Britain was being asked to stick to quotas set between 1973 and 1978 and “I think they have an argument in that. This should be an issue for compromise by the EU.”

The Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermens Organisation, Sean O’Donoghue, responded, saying he was very disappointed at Mr. Ahern’s remarks as he had “failed to make it clear that any concessions to Britain would displace vessels into Irish waters.”

He also said that Mr Ahern had made the same mistake as many politicians, in failing to recognise that sovereignty of waters and of fish stocks were two separate issues.

The former Irish Ambassador to Canada, Jamaica and the Bahamas, had a contrary view to former Taoiseach Ahern: "The fisheries issue in the Brexit talks has focused interest in Ireland on how badly the country is treated under the current Common Fisheries Policy. This is very uncomfortable for the Government and the pro-EU lobby, said Mr. Ray Bassett.