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OPEN LETTER


Dear owners of Irish fishing vessels and processors,


You are the Irish fishing industry!

You are the investors who have your necks on the line.

You are the present caretakers of this industry to shape what is passed on to the next generations.


But you are not in charge of the Irish fishing industry.


The two senior civil ‘servants’ in the Department of Agriculture, Food & Marine (DAFM) run your business and, to a much lesser extent, so does Minister Charlie Mc Conalogue.


This minister appears to be someone who won a local popularity contest and then gets to appear as a mascot for the Department — (like Bambi looking at roadkill).


EU Commissioner Sinkevicius will be in Ireland next Monday to meet the fishing Industry representatives and I expect after the meeting the two senior civil servants will undermine every argument the industry makes to survive.


Does anyone in the industry think these people (and those they control, BIM, SFPA, etc) have anything but contempt for the industry?


The fishing industry wants fish, the civil servants want EU money so it's obvious who wins when only the civil servants get to the negotiations.


There has been a constant erosion of this industry over the past 20 years or more.


The last nine months have been terrible and the future looks bleak -- but if we had the right people in DAFM who didn't hate to see any sign of success in the industry, would we be in a much better place.


The time has long passed to question the tyranny and arrogance in the Department. We owe it to ourselves and we owe it to those coming after us.


Let’s take this opportunity to express our lack of confidence in the abilities and intent of these two senior civil servants and "their" minister.


In my opinion these people are a persistent and dangerous liability to the Irish fishing industry and should have been side-lined years ago. Let's ask ourselves, as a successful business manager, how long would Michael O Leary (Ryanair) keep them?


So between now and Monday, when the EU Commissioner meets the industry, let anyone who wishes to declare a public vote of No Confidence in 'terrible trinity' of the DAFM's two senior civil servants and the minster, declare it here on the IFSA comments.


Let the Commissioner see that we, the Irish fishing industry, need to be dealing with the EU directly and give us the opportunity for decent representation so we are not dependent on those who actually resent us rather than represent us.


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