At the Fianna Fáil Ard Chomhairle (party meeting) in Dublin earlier this week the issue of the SFPA and the debacle of their ‘home-made’ regulations enforced upon the Killybegs’ pelagic industry but not anywhere else in the EU was brought once again to the attention of Taoiseach Michael Martin.
On being told that some four vessels had to leave the port and instead land in Derry due to the SFPA’s insistence to dry weigh blue whiting and thereby make them unfit for human consumption processing, and that this was followed by the SFPA declaring that Derry was not part of Ireland (and thereby jeopardising the Northern Ireland Protocol), this industry will be shocked and irritated with the level of ignorance of the state of current affairs that the Taoiseach displayed in his reply:
“Ah sure Ireland’s fishing industry was caught cheating by the European Fisheries Commission and these current events are part of the resulting penalty….”
It is outrageous that in this day and age our Taoiseach has still not made the effort to inform himself of the facts of the Irish fishing industry and he should stop listening to the poisonous whispers from his marine civil servants.
Four of the vessels that had to leave Killybegs with their fish were non Irish, therefore disputing the Taoiseach’s comment that this was “EU punishment on Ireland”;
The ‘current events’ regarding the SFPA have nothing to do with the EU Commission and are completely and absolutely at the behest of the SFPA & DAFM;
Ireland HAS NOT ‘been caught cheating’ by the EU Commission or anyone else - there are allegations of over landing of quotas coming from the DAFM but these are in an audit report which is being hidden (by our marine civil servants) for the past two years and that the fishing industry are being denied access to - clearly because the industry can prove that the details supplied to the report by Irish authorities are wholly incorrect and totally fictional;
Surely the political leader of this nation should not be, similar to the current marine minister, passing the buck and abdicating responsibilities by leaving everything to their marine civil servants who continually operate a clear and well publicised ant-industry regime against the Irish fishing industry and Ireland’s coastal communities - the same communities in which Fianna Fáil will be knocking on doors looking for votes come the next election !