Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy was in Mayo this evening to host a public meeting on seaweed harvesting amidst concerns that the industry could be privatised.
Cllr Carthy was joined at the packed meeting by local councillor Rose Conway Walsh and Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh.
Speaking in Belmullet the Midlands Northwest candidate said:
“The scenic west coast of Ireland, including here in Belmullet, has much to contribute towards the revitalisation of the economy.
“There is great untapped potential along our coast for greater use of seaweed and for job creation by adding value to the potential harvest there. However, significant concerns have arisen for the future of the industry.
“It appears that a private company from Canada is bidding for the state-owned Arramara Teoranta and I am very concerned that this is another feature of our lives that this government wants to sell off for privatisation.
“The potential of this industry will only benefit our own people if the harvesting and processing is controlled by the communities living there by way of co-operatives or some similar community-based approach.
“I am calling on the Minister for the Environment, Phil Hogan, to come clean on plans for the future of seaweed harvesting on the Western seaboard.
“The community here in Belmullet made their views known tonight. There is a great deal of concern along the west coast for the future of seaweed harvesting. Minister Hogan should not leave these communities waiting for an answer.”