Sinn Féin MEP for Ireland South Liadh Ní Riada has stated that she will be pushing for All-Ireland initiatives and solutions for the fishing community after securing a position on the EU Fisheries Committee this week.
Ní Riada, as the only Irish MEP on the committee, has promised to be a strong voice for the fishing communities of the entire island.
Speaking from Strasbourg today, Ní Riada said:
"For too long our fishing communities have suffered as a result of weak representation at this level. I will be pushing the all-Ireland dimension at every opportunity particularly when it comes to our fisheries. A 32-county approach certainly provides a way forward in the development and defence of our fishing industry and the livelihoods of fishermen who are already struggling in a very difficult environment.
"We want to see our fishing communities represented by Ministers from the north and south of Ireland. Such an approach would undoubtedly strengthen our voice when working, through the European Union, to improve the lot of the Irish fishing community.
"Sinn Féin sees this as an essential component of any future strategy for achieving a thriving and sustainable fishing industry in Ireland. This means delivering greater opportunities for our fishermen in Irish waters. In terms of the Common Fisheries Policy, we support greater local control over decision making on the fishing effort.
"I will be doing my utmost to ensure that the fishing communities of Ireland get a better and fairer deal from the European Union in terms of quotas. Irish Fishermen have a right to make a living and they deserve a reasonable income. This is also of great importance when it comes to the survival of our wider coastal communities and rural Ireland as a whole."