Sinn Féin councillor Conor D. McGuinness has called on the Taoiseach and the Minister for the Marine to stand up for Irish coastal communities and to immediately seek a re-negotiation of access to Irish fishing waters following the outcome of the Brexit trade deal.
Councillor McGuinness said:
“The outcome of this Brexit trade deal amounts to another 15% cut in quota and income to our Irish fishing fleet that was already struggling to survive.
“The response from the Taoiseach and Minister McConalogue to this deal shows that they are not really listening to Irish fishing communities. Our coastal communities need someone to fight their corner – they need a real champion, not hide-and-seek champions.
“Limited financial compensation is not the issue. The real issue is the appalling ongoing spectacle of the handing over of our immense Irish natural fishing resource to others every year, to the immense detriment of our coastal communities.
“It is now time to revisit the EU Common Fisheries Policy quotas as they apply to Irish waters. This Brexit trade deal has clearly exposed the failings of the ‘relative stability’ approach that allocates quota in Irish waters based on the historical catch, decades ago, of the fleets of EU member states rather than the needs of our coastal communities around Ireland, closest to those fishing grounds.
“For the Irish fleet to be further ripped apart while there are immense fishing resources around our coast is absolutely unacceptable and the Irish government need to stand up for Irish interests.
“Our fishing and coastal communities can not be sacrificed again at the altar of European political expediency.”