Thomas Pringle TD

Pringle says Fine Gael is failing Donegal fishermen

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May 24th 2018

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Independent TD for Donegal, Thomas Pringle has criticised the Government’s record on fishing to date claiming the government has failed Donegal fishermen due to its failure to introduce a fair and just procedure of fishing penalty points within the industry.

Speaking in the Dáil on the issue Deputy Pringle stated that “every time the Government attempted to address the issue of penalty points they failed to implement fair and proper legislation. There have been problems with regulation since 2009 and yet the Government has done nothing to introduce a fair and just procedure including recourse to the courts like in every other sector in Ireland. Susbequent legislation continued to fail on this which has consequences for the fishing community.

“This is the third attempt now to deal with the penalty point system. You would have to wonder why it takes three attempts to deal with a system that is largely laid out in European Legislation in the first place. It can only be that the Government lacks regard for the fishing industry which it has largely neglected since coming into power.

“Instead of addressing incompatible legislation head on Fine Gael are leaving in place failed regulations which this week we’ve asked them to rescind. Fine Gael refuse to do so citing fines from Europe and funding restrictions if they take out existing regulations despite the courts striking down the legislation.

“Fishermen deserve a fair and just system which includes recourse to the courts just as in every other sector in Ireland. If Fine Gael can’t do this without risking funding from the EU, which is their job, then they need to face the inherent incompetency within their own Government.

“The main reason Fine Gael are failing to legislation properly is ultimately down to the fact that no consultation was carried out with fishing groups or with the Committee of Agriculture and the Marine which I am a member of. I’ve been raising this for a number of years through the Committee, the Department and have consistently asked for proper scrutiny of any replacement legislation even if it is only a statutory instrument yet time and time again Fine Gael have failed to provide this opportunity for legislators like myself.

“I am calling on the Minister to do what is owed to fishermen and rescind the current regulations with a fair and proper system in its place after thorough consultation has been carried out with fishermen in Donegal and across the country” concludes Pringle.

ENDS

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