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Molloy Welcomes Culture Minister’s Strong Support for Lough Neagh Eel-Fishing

14 February, 2013 - by Ian Milne

Mid-Ulster MLA, and Sinn Féin’s Westminster by-election candidate, Francie Molloy has expressed support for Culture Minister Carál Ní Chuilín’s refusal to consider a potential suspension of eel fishing by the EU.

 Responding to the Minister’s statement this evening, Mr Molloy said:

“I want to welcome Minister Ní Chuilín’s strong statement of support for Lough Neagh’s eel fishing community. The Minister has adopted a measured approach in refusing to consider any EU proposals, especially without a full range of procedural, scientific and consultative actions involving those most affected.

 “The Lough Neagh Eel Fisheries Co-operative is one of the most important, sustainable and marketable enterprises in the entire North, and indeed in Ireland. It is of grave concern that proposals being considered in Europe might result in efforts to suspend eel-fishing.

 “All stakeholders need to join together behind Minister Ní Chuilín in opposing what could be a devastating impact on the entire Lough Neagh community, particularly those living in Mid-Ulster.

 “I have therefore tonight asked the Minister to facilitate an early meeting between myself and representatives of the Eel-Fishing Co-operative, as she makes her Assembly statement next week. I am also calling on Minister Ní Chuilín to jointly convene, with Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill, a meeting of all stakeholders in Mid-Ulster next week to discuss this important issue.”

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