Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries and the Marine Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue to urgently introduce funding for fuel supports across the Irish fishing fleet.
Teachta Mac Lochlainn said:
“I asked Minister McConalogue in early February through a Parliamentary Question about any supports or interventions he planned to introduce to help address the increasing fuel costs for the fishing sector.
“His response at that time advised that ‘Article 25 of the EMFF Regulation (508/2014) precludes me from providing supports for operational costs’.
“I have since corresponded with Minister Mc Conalogue that the French Government has recently introduced support equivalent to €0.35/litre between now and the end of July for the French fishing fleet to help fishermen continue fishing.
“So if the French Government can support their fleet with operational costs, why can’t the Irish Government?
“Or is this more of the same of the trend of Irish governments abandoning the Irish fishing sector at will?
“It is high time that we decided to start looking at how we can start supporting the Irish fishing sector rather than how we cannot.
“We must stand up for Irish fishermen.”