Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle reveals Pat The Cope’s short term memory loss over controversial role as FF Minister for the Marine


Attending a meeting in Killybegs yesterday evening, Independent TD Thomas Pringle had to remind Pat The Cope Gallagher that he was in fact Minister of State for the Marine during the time Fianna Fáil brought in legislation criminalising fishermen who breached Common Fisheries Policy rules in Ireland.

Ireland is currently the only EU country which actively criminalises fishermen for breaches of these rules. Currently, fishermen face prosecution in the Circuit Court if they are found to have over-fished, failed to keep records, or if they have fished for banned species. Other countries only apply administrative sanctions or offences to anyone breaking these rules.
‘Pat the Cope clearly suffered short term memory loss last night when he claimed he was not around at the time legislation was brought in criminalising fishermen. I had to jog his memory and remind him that he was in fact Minister of State for the Marine at the time the Sea Fisheries and Maritime Jurisdiction Bill was passed in the Dáil. Surely he’d remember the massive implications of such a drastic piece of legislation and the impact it would have on fishing communities’.
‘This is proof that we can’t trust another Fianna Fáil government and its poor record of defending our natural resource and those whose livelihoods depend on it. Even having a Minister in our backyard did not stop Fianna Fáil from mismanaging the fishing sector and misrepresenting Ireland at EU level in relation to quotas.’
‘I find it very hard to believe that Pat the Cope has truly forgotten this and that I had to remind him because I am very certain that people in Killybegs and across Donegal have not forgotten this one bit,’ concludes Pringle.

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