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Who is the beneficiary of Ireland’s generosity with its fishery resources?

Looking broadly at the situation of the Irish fishing industry, at some stage somebody must decide to ‘follow the money’.

Most behaviour can be explained in logical terms and a constantly repeated pattern for a quarter of a century where failure follows failure in every negotiation and then the focus of the negotiators is to leak malicious stories to the national media against the very industry which they have once again failed, raises very serious questions about the truth of what is actually happening.

If an under-12’s football team, never mind a national team, lost every match they played for 25 years it would be impossible for the manager to still be in his job, and he certainly wouldn't be in receipt of millions of euros over that period.

Yet this is precisely what we have in the fishing industry. A toxic anti-industry mindset on the part of senior civil servants is indoctrinated into junior civil servants and greenhorn politicians at every opportunity. Why? Who benefits from this?

Where is the gain from this level of failure, nastiness, vindictiveness and calculation, and what is the motivation?

Logic dictates that there must be personal reward for someone, somewhere in this process.

If the fishing industry constantly loses out and others constantly gain, is it reasonable for the supposed ‘negotiators’ to use all of the State resources at their disposal against the industry they have failed unless they perceive a gain for themselves somewhere in the process?

In any country anywhere else in Europe this state of affairs would never have been allowed to evolve as once identified, the tyranny would be highlighted and its perpetrators would certainly be made accountable.

But in the Irish system where is the watchdog keeping an eye on the behaviour and accountability of Irish civil servants whose arrogance has grown in proportion to the freedoms they have been allowed?

Sadly, there is no evidence to date of any arm of the State taking those responsible for the appalling loss of the country’s resources to task.

They may be forced to act, through embarrassment, when articles begin to appear in Northern Irish and UK daily papers.

Our own media unfortunately lack the courage to deal with real current issues. RTE likes to pretend that it gets at the truth in such programmes as ‘Primetime’ or ‘RTE Investigates’ and, without even a hint of irony, RTÉ is currently running an advert campaign claiming that RTE “cares about ordinary people and communities” and also “Journalism matters – RTE News, the truth matters”.

But the fact is that RTE’s level of investigative journalism does alright providing that none of the perpetrators are currently in government, and most are probably dead, or when the targets are soft.

As our national broadcaster RTE has, to date, failed to tackle live national issues such as the huge failures and negative campaigns emanating from the Dept. of the Marine as it fears a financial slap from the government hand that feeds it.

Our national papers are no better as they clearly consider that they are in debt to whoever is supplying them with distorted reports from within government.

If there was a genuinely investigative mind in any of the national papers then surely they would question why they are being supplied with rehashed lies and what benefit, financial or otherwise, is there for the government employee in perpetuating anti Irish fishing industry propaganda? This is a far bigger story.

Meanwhile it is interesting to note the comparative scale of response during Brexit from different countries when access to resources was being threatened.

We saw how Macron reacted when the French access to the channel was under threat and he was openly prepared to wreck a potential deal.

Also, the French responded to the British placement of two warships at the Channel Islands by activating two warships of their own.

After this, focus shifted to Ireland and our leader Michael Martin’s response to destroying our access? Zero, not a squeak!

And lately, the so-called ‘neutral’ EU negotiator Michael Bariner confirmed during an interview on the launch of his BREXIT book on EuroNews this week that he is now being touted as a candidate for the French Presidency position – no doubt a reward for his successful efforts in representing the interests of the French fishing industry and not the overall EU fisheries’ interests in the BREXIT deal.

But this is just another simple case of everyone, except Paddy, having a government who fights for them.

Having claimed Rockall, the British sent a warship to protect their claim and proceeded to displace Irish vessels from a critically important fishery.

And what was the Irish Government’s response? We sent an email…

This is then described by the ever-inept duo, Ministers Mc Conalogue and Coveney as “fighting tooth and nail”.

God save us all!

Letter co-authors: an industry source (name withheld) and Cormac Burke

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