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The dictionary description of the word ‘shameless’ is “a person or group with conduct characterised by or showing a lack of shame i.e., barefaced, brazen or insensitive to obvious disgrace”.

A very apt description indeed of our current Government, the marine minister and his department.

Here we are in an island nation with an historic proud maritime tradition – an island with generation after generation of rural coastal communities who have eeked out a living on local fisheries and small coft farms of sheep and cattle – a nation for whom so many died so that this island could have independence, the right to self-govern and be in complete control of our country’s resources.

Our fishing and seafood industries developed over time and grew hand-in-hand with the age of technology of global evolution to keep our proud country in its rightful place in the 21st century in the western world as a modern and democratic nation.

But how then have we witnessed a return to not just one, but TWO landlords and now find ourselves back to the penal days of being peasant servants?

Our first landlord, a coalition Government comprised of people who shook our hands on the doorsteps and promised much but reneged on most, who then themselves became a bowing, scraping tenant to a landlord of their own – the European Union.

As already mentioned in previous IFSA articles, I am not a ‘political animal’ and I have no allegiance with any particular political party – but as a citizen of this country I am ashamed of what this Government is doing to Ireland’s coastal communities and indeed, our land farmer brethren in rural Ireland.

Surely it is incumbent on any government that are the ‘elected caretakers’ of any nation, that they must defend and support ALL of the people in ALL of the sectors of Ireland’s communities, but the attempts of this Government to silence any voice calling for justice in any sphere of Irish life is worryingly close to a fascist dictatorship.

It is clear, to everyone in the fishing and farming industries at least, that a strategic sell-out of Ireland’s resources to EU superpowers is well underway —- and the Irish citizens involved in working in these resource industries are being expected by this Government to just ‘suck it up’ and are not even allowed to dare raise these issues or to highlight them to the general public who, for decades, are being kept in the dark that the very ‘sod under their feet’ is being sold to the EU.

And even if one takes the time to search through all the bullshit PR of the European Commission, then their repeated use of the phrase “defending and caring for artisanal fisheries and communities in all EU Member States” makes a lie of what Ireland, as one of those Member States, is doing at this time as it is plain to be seen that a planned decimation of these Irish artisanal fishing communities is being carried out.

By recently defying, yet again, calls for a Dail debate on the current crisis facing the fishing industry, our current three-party Government, Taoiseach and our agriculture & marine minister are making it clear that NO help, support or defence will be given to the fishing or farming industries of rural Ireland – but if you are a foreign company with a big cheque book and you want Irish waters’ oil & gas rights, licenses for offshore wind energy installations, or fishing quota rights then this same Government will roll out the red carpet for you.

Who, and I mean any Irish citizen, ever gave this Government to mandate to sell out OUR natural resources? And what kind of a legacy do they think they are leaving behind them?

As we’ve seen in the past (with oil exploration rights in Irish waters), once you’ve sold something then it’s gone – it’s no longer yours to utilise.

And no matter if Ireland ever gets a genuine IRISH government who actually tries to support and defend our fishing rights, there will be very little they can do if this present Government has already prostituted our resources or already sold our goose that lays the golden egg.

To every elected TD of Fianna Fail, Fianna Gael, Green Party and a few other minor parties, understand this: This rot must stop!

The people of this nation, will NO LONGER accept the corrupt fireside sale of our resources and our assets, and the driving of Irish people out of work, out of their homes and into bankruptcy, while our politicians line their pockets as fast as they can whilst they are still in power.

Cormac Burke,

Chairman, IFSA

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