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Maritime Ireland Weekly Newsletter and Blog April 16

THE COURAGE OF THE KILLYBEGS FISHERMEN

SEAN O’DONOGHUE, CHIEF EXECUTIVE KILLYBEGS FISHERMEN”S ORGANISATION

The major story for me this week was the courageous – and perfectly correct –decision of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation to lodge a formal complaint with European Ombudsman, Emily O’Reilly, against the European Fisheries  Commission for its failure to grant access to a 2018 Control Audit Report and a subsequent administrative inquiry which allegedly made a range of damaging allegations against the Irish fishing industry. The Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation, Sean O’Donoghue, called on the Marine Minister and the Sea Fisheries Protection Authority to ”stand-up for Irish fishermen and the fishing industry against the European Commission.” He has taken a strong stand in defence of Irish fishermen, taking on the European Commission which, increasingly, has serious questions to answer about its alleged bias against the Irish fishing industry. The Irish Government and the Marine Minister have not been as forthright as the Killybegs CEO. What he has protested about is, frankly, an example of civil servants, in this case those in the EU, using a shroud of darkness that they cast over their decisions. “The Commission has denied the industry sight of the report’s findings for almost four years now which contravenes its own access regulations,” said Mr.O’Donoghue. This is an example of the EU Commission acting as judge and jury and concealing the alleged evidence on which it made its decision. The Irish Sea Fisheries Protection Authority also has questions to answer about its approach, exemplified also by the recent issues at Killybegs over landings. As food supplies continue to emerge as a major national issue – why is fishing not valued by the Government as a food supplier?      

  REMEMBER FOR THOSE WHO SERVED – BELL LINES REUNION

An ex-Bell Lines Seafarers Inaugural Reunion is being organised for Saturday,May 7,in Waterford. “If you know of any ex-Bell Lines Seafarers,it would be appreciated if you can let them know about this event,” says Peter Walter, who is involved in organising the events.  Contact: pgjwalter@gmail.com

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