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2,000 boats boarded on suspicion of breaching fishing regulations, only 5 were boarded on suspicion of drug smuggling

27 May, 2009



2,000 boats boarded on suspicion of breaching fishing regulations, only 5 were boarded on suspicion of drug smuggling


Sinn Féin EU candidates Cllr. Toireasa Ferris (South Constituency) and Cllr. Pádraig Mac Lochlainn (North and West Constituency) in a joint statement today have called for an immediate redeployment of naval services.

They made their call after it was revealed in a Ministerial answer to questions posed by Sinn Féin that in 2008 almost two thousand boats were boarded on suspicion of breaching EU fishing regulations while only five were boarded on suspicion of drug smuggling.

The Sinn Féin representatives described the figures as “startling” and demanded that the Government immediately redeploy the naval services so as to combat “drug smuggling criminals not communities trying to make a living.”

They said, “Irish fishing communities are on the brink of disaster. Many have been hounded out of business by an Irish government that continues to support EU regulations and quotas, which are unfair and unjust.

“All along the coast of Ireland boats are being decommissioned and fishermen are joining the dole queues. They are the victims of Government policy which, judging by the startling figures released today, is more interested in driving them out of business than preventing the flood of drugs that afflicts communities all across this island.

“Last year almost two thousand boats were boarded by the navy on suspicion of breaching fishing regulations. In the same time period only five boats were boarded on suspicion of drug smuggling. This despite the fact that every dog in the street knows the country is awash with drugs and, as was evidenced by recent high profile court cases, Ireland is a major staging post for people bringing drugs in to northern Europe.

“It is time this Government stopped criminalising Irelands fishing communities and put more resources in to where the real war should be fought – against the drug smugglers destroying lives in Ireland and elsewhere. We need an immediate redeployment of naval services to target drug smuggling criminals not communities trying to make a living.” ENDS

Read all the latest on Toireasa Ferris including press releases at www.ferrisforeurope.ie

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