Coveney must bail out fishermen devastated by storms – Ó Clochartaigh
Sinn Féin’s Senator Trevor ÓClochartaigh has called on the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to bail out fishermen devastated by storms.
Senator ÓClochartaigh said:
“Small inshore fishermen have been devastated by the recent storms. Boats have been destroyed. Tackle has been washed away. Critical infrastructure, such as access roads, piers and slipways, has been severely affected.
“The extent of the damage is still being assessed but most of these fishermen have never seen storms which have had this big an impact on their capability to fish and make a living.
“When the farming community was hit by a fodder crisis last year the minister rightly stepped in to put measures in place to help them out. The government had no problem bailing out banks at their time of need. The small fishermen are in need of a bail out now as well.
“Many inshore fishermen are in danger of losing their livelihoods due to the damage done by the recent storms. This is on top of the already difficult commercial circumstances they find themselves in.
“There should be an emergency fund put in place immediately to help the small inshore fishermen replace, or repair their gear and their vessels so they can resume fishing again as soon as possible and maintain a vibrant coastal fishing community for years to come.
“I call on the minister to ensure that, along with assistance from his department, that he ensures that the National Co-ordinating Group for Severe Weather takes account of the situation of inshore fishermen as it responds to recent storms.”