May 12, 2024
Irish fishing industry urgently needs strong voices in Europe – Kathleen Funchion TD

Sinn Féin TD and European candidate for Ireland South, Kathleen Funchion, has said the Irish fishing industry urgently requires strong voices in Europe fighting their corner as the serious crisis within the sector grows.

Deputy Funchion was speaking from Kilmore Quay, Co Wexford, where she and Sinn Féin spokesperson on Fisheries, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn TD, had a number of meetings with industry representatives and local fishermen, concerning the current state of the industry.

Teachta Funchion said:

“It is clear that our local fishing industry is in crisis – to see the strain on the faces of proud and passionate fishermen, some of them fighting back tears as they relayed the challenges they face on a daily basis was very humbling. It is unsurprising that many of them feel invisible, abandoned by a government that seemingly doesn’t care. This is unacceptable.

“Quite simply our fishing industry needs strong voices in Europe, and a change of government in Dublin. Whether it’s the loss of quota, loss of species available to catch, or the increased cost of fishing – many of our fishermen feel voiceless, as if their concerns are secondary to all others.

“In order to meet these challenges and seize any emerging opportunities our fishermen need strong voices in Brussels, and a determined Fisheries Minister in Dublin – but to date the Irish government, and their MEP colleagues have not been.

“In his time at the European Parliament, my colleague and Sinn Féin MEP for Midlands North West, Chris MacManus has demonstrated the type of leadership that our party wants to provide in Europe.

“He hosted the first delegation of representatives of the Irish fishing industry from all around the coast to jointly make their case directly to the European Commission and he recently championed the case of 14-year-old Muireann Kavanagh, the teenager from Arranmore who is fighting for the right to sustainably fish off her island.

“I want to also be a strong voice in Europe for our fishing communities in the South of Ireland.

“Sinn Féin wants a new deal for our fishing industry – a fair deal – and with strong MEPs in Europe fighting for Irish interests, and a Sinn Féin-led government in Dublin we will protect, sustain, and enhance the Irish fishing industry into the future.”

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