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Come Clean Minister!

The former Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation and Chairman of Bord Iascaigh Mhara has called on the Minister for the Marine, Mr Michael Creed TD, to “come clean” and make things transparent to Irish fishermen so that they know what is going on regarding the Brexit fishing negotiations.

Mr Joey Murrin said that he was alarmed after watching British Prime Minister, Theresa May, on Sky News when she said the United Kingdom had “no problem sorting out the fishing industry.”

“Why is there no problem, Minister? What does this statement of the British position mean?

“Irish fish producers have set up an unholy alliance with other fishermen’s organisations in Europe. As far as I am concerned, this is akin to fraternising with the enemy. Have we not learned any lessons by now?

“At the end of the Brexit negotiations it is going to be all the big players around the table; France, Spain, Germany, the Netherlands and Denmark, like a pack of hungry wolves sitting around the table. All the best of friends, of course, until the final deal is done and then it will be everyone for themselves and grab what they can get. Ireland will be left to pick up the crumbs.

“Ireland has already lost 20,000 tonnes of mackerel in 2018, valued at about €20m. This is a major loss to the fishing and processing industries in particular in Killybegs, Burtonport and Greencastle.

“I was shocked by the “zero reaction” of the fishing industry to this loss. Apart from “a few squiggles in the local papers”, there was total silence.

“That is why I am calling now on Minister Creed to state clearly what the position is with regard to Brexit. The industry needs transparency on the future prospects for this industry which is so vital to the coastal communities around Ireland.”

Joey Murrin and Seamus Connolly at the blessing of the new MFV Stella Nova