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de Brún urges European Commission release of compensation payments to former Lough Foyle fishermen

18 November, 2007

Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún has called on European Commissioner for Fisheries and Maritime Affairs, Joe Borg, to ensure the immediate release of monies for compensation payments to former fishermen who gave up their livelihoods involved in drift and draft-net fishing for salmon on Lough Foyle.

Ms de Brún said:

"I have recently been contacted by constituents who are still awaiting payment for no longer being involved in drift and draft-net fishing for salmon on Lough Foyle. They are very concerned that they have not as yet received compensation payments which were promised to be made in early autumn 2007 by the Loughs Agency.

"I have been informed that this is a problem also facing many other people living in coastal communities in other parts of Ireland, North and South, and that the explanation for payments not being made is that the European Commission has not released monies for payment.

"I have been in contact with Commissioner Joe Borg, asking him to move to ensure a speedy resolution of this problem as many of the people we are dealing with are from lower-income families.

"My party colleague and Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew will be in Brussels in early December for a meeting of the Fish Council, where we will if necessary, again raise this important matter with Commissioner Borg." ENDS

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