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Minister pushed to respond to question on IFSA

A Parliamentary Question (PQ) regarding the IFSA organisation has been submitted to the Minister for Agriculture, Food & Marine Charlie McConalogue by Sinn Fein Spokesman for Fisheries Padraig MacLochlainn.

“To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine if he is aware of the establishment of a new independent organisation; the Irish Fishing and Seafood Alliance (IFSA), representing almost 60 fishing vessels of all sizes in differing sectors in the Irish fishing industry; further to ask the Minister if he will include this organisation in any future rounds of consultation that he holds with the industry and if he will invite them to participate in the work of the Seafood Task Force?”

In thanking Mr MacLochlainn for submitting the question (which may be aired this week or may have to wait until after the Dail two-week break), IFSA Chairman Cormac Burke said that this formal question will mean that the public will now know if the Minister (a) has been aware of this organisation and has been simply neglecting to respond to the many questions it’s many articles have posed in recent times or (b) if he is completely unaware of the IFSA, in which case showing himself to be out of touch with the industry.

“I’m sure the Minister will not have been pleased to have seen so many IFSA articles in recent weeks that have been critical of his performance and of that of his department, but trying to ignore the existence of a body that is giving Ireland’s coastal communities a voice with which to make their concerns known is simply not going to work,” Cormac Burke said.

“The size of the IFSA is growing by the day - and whether he likes it or not, the Minister is going to have to accept that this is an organisation that is going to continue to ask some awkward questions and demand some accountability for the ongoing mismanagement of Ireland’s fishing and seafood resources,” he added.

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