Sinn Féin’s Matt Carthy has called for increased engagement with communities along the west coast on the issue of seaweed harvesting.
Carthy was speaking in response to news that the state-owned company which processes seaweed harvesting licenses along the west coast has been sold to a private company.
Speaking from the campaign trail the Midlands Northwest candidate said:
“Sinn Féin has been flagging up for some time now the potential selling off of Arramara Teoranta to a private company. Yesterday Údaras na Gaeltachta confirmed that this was the case with news that the company will be sold to a Canadian business, Acadian Seaplant.
“I recently attended a packed public meeting in Belmullet, Co. Mayo on this issue. At the time I warned that 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 still believe this to be the case.
“My colleagues Senator Trevor Ó Clochartaigh and Mayo Councillor Rose Conway Walsh have this morning written to Acadian Seaplant to ascertain their plans of how they intend engage with coastal communities going forward.
“The most important thing now for seaweed harvesters along the west coast is dialogue with Acadian Seaplant and developing a working relationship which will be of benefit to those who depend on this industry to make a living.”