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The Maritime Ireland Radio Show Weekly Blog January 15

WHY IS UK STILL ALLOWED TO BLOCK IRISH FISHERMEN FROM ROCKALL?

It is a year since the British authorities blocked fishermen from Ireland accessing traditional fishing grounds around Rockall. The UK’s arbitrary exclusion of Irish fishing boats from Rockall has cost Ireland nearly €8m. That is admitted by the Minister for the Marine, so why is the Irish Government tolerating this action by Britain, a year after it began? Minister Charlie McConalogue has stated that the losses to Ireland for lost catches of squid and other species previously caught in the Rockall area by Irish boats are a total of €7.7m. A year after it began threatening Irish vessels if they entered a zone the UK claims to own, the Irish government continues to “work in every way possible to ensure we resolve this issue diplomatically,” the Minister has said. So far that has not been successful. “Ireland has never made any claims to Rockall, nor has it ever recognised British sovereignty claims to Rockall. Accordingly we have not recognised a 12-nautical mile territorial sea around it either,” said the Minister.

THE MARINE TIMES NEWSPAPER HAS MORE ON THIS STORY IN THE JANUARY EDITION

Sinn Fein’s Spokesman on Fisheries and the Marine, Padraig MacLochlainn says that “the fact that this issue has not been resolved is evidence that we have conceded British control over Rockall. Until I see decisive action from the Government I will not be convinced otherwise. It is outrageous that, after a year, this has not been resolved.”

The fishing community remain to be convinced of the Government’s commitment to fight for Ireland’s traditional fishing rights at Rockall.Two questions the Government should answer – Has it given away Irish traditional rights around Rockall to the British but not admitted this to the public? If it has not, then why is it not making a stronger public commitment to challenge and deny what appears to be a UK territorial grab of Rockall?

                        THANKS TO READERS & LISTENERS A big ‘thank you’ to readers and listeners for your response over the past week to my new monthly MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW & PODCAST. Via Email, text, phone and personal contact, it has been most encouraging, with may ideas and suggestions for items, stories and topics to be covered. It is clear to me that there is a strong public interest in maritime matters.

LISTEN TO THE MARITIME IRELAND RADIO SHOW wherever you get your Podcasts – Apple, Mixcloud,Spotify included and it is also broadcast on local community radio stations around Ireland on my website https://tommacsweeney marine and www.marinetimes,ie Join the maritime community with your comments, opinions, news, views, send on Email to: maritimeirelandradioshow@gmail.com    Daily maritime news on Twitter: @TomMacSweeney 

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