Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Brolly calls on Irish Government to act on Lough Foyle ownership claims

16 June, 2009 - by Cathal Ó hOisín

Sinn Féin East Derry MLA Francie Brolly has called on Fianna Fáil Minister, Conor Lenihan to act decisively on the claim by the British Crown Estates that it can impose a charge of £5000 pounds a year on the Foyle Ferry Company to operate between Donegal and Magilligan Co. Derry.

Francie Brolly said:

"I find it amazing that an Irish government Minister should just meekly accept the right of the British Crown Estates to levy charges against an Irish operator providing a very worthwhile service in Irish waters. Conor Lenihan's comment that 'there was no formal agreement' between the British and Irish governments over territorial waters is a lame excuse for inaction.

"It's about time the Irish government defended its so-called sovereignty and told Crown Estates that it has no right to levy charges against an Irish operator in Irish waters - disputed or otherwise. I call on the Minister to act decisively and demand that British Crown Estates relinquish any claim to Lough Foyle and give operational responsibility to Foyle and Carlingford Lights Commission.

“If the political will exists then steps can be taken to support the future of this valuable service. Conor Lenihan could follow the example set by our Regional Development Minister Conor Murphy who when faced with the British designating Magilligan as a port of entry responded with determination to the situtaion and ensured the de-classification of Magilligan saving the ferry operation to and from Greencastle £90,000 pa.” ENDS

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