OPEN LETTER - A TRAIL OF TEARS
As I was driving home to Donegal from Dublin via Northern last week I was thinking of the amount of people that had tragically died and were maimed fighting over this area in the past 100 years.
Bombs were set off all over Ireland and in the UK and yet more recently we, in the Irish fishing industry, have now lost 40 times more area in water and not as much as a fingernail was broken while this resource was given away.
This must be the biggest heist/ acquisition of resources in the history of the world.
We look at documentries about the exploitation of fishing in developing countries where we are shown images of the indiginous fishing communities starving and looking out at the big international fishing fleets exploiting their resources.
Does this picture ring a bell - well it should! This script could be modified, without much ink, to tell the story of the Irish fishing industry.
The resources of the fishing communities in these nations were sold and given away by their government’s corrupt officials and in return for what?
The people in much less developed countries than Ireland are now reduced to living on handouts or aid from the EU state bodies.
In America the same happened to the native Americans - this once proud productive race of people were reduced to living on reservations on State welfare and charity. Before the control was taken from them they were self sufficient - similar to Irish fishermen in times gone by.
If Irish fishing communities don't stop the present decline then the future is crystal clear.
Is this the future you envisage for your grandchildren. Our trail of tears has already commenced.
The comparison to the Northern Ireland situation you could say the managers of the resource have introduced a hybrid version of internment for fishermen - aka the penelty points system.
If ever there was an industry that is, has and will be molested by our so called managers, it is the fishing industry.
Meanwhile last month we had an (uninvited) visitor to Ireland from Latvia as EU Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevičius stood on the pier in Killybegs with the other ‘boy’ posing as an Irish fisheries minister and the Commissioner was treated like the Dalai lama - a kind of spiritual leader of the fishing communities of Ireland.
This man is 30 years of age and only left college in 2012 - he was not elected by you, me or anyone else in the Irish fishing industry to have any control over our national marine resources but yet we, people with a lifetime in this industry, have to beg him to have access to the fish in our own waters.
As for the other excuse of a minister on the pier that day, I will not even write his name as his track record in office in the past year speaks volumes for itself - the man is a disgrace and will go down in history as the most ineffective agriculture and fisheries minister of all time.
How did we get to this position? Our once proud fishing communities are now on the highway to a very important junction, with one road to a possible bright future if we defend our resources against a corrupt EU strategy of piracy or the other road, which we are currently being forced down - a depressing trail of tears and the death of Ireland’s coastal communities.
Is there any political party in Ireland with a moral compass to steer us on the correct road and to stand up to the Irish civil servants who are hell-bent on working for the EU Commission and not for the people of Ireland or, like our past politicians, are the new breed of political leaders going to ignore the screams for help from the people of Ireland’s marine heritage?