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Sinn Féin will challenge Statutory Instrument on penalty points for fishing industry – Ferris

10 March, 2016 - by Martin Ferris TD

Speaking in Leinster House today, Sinn Féin spokesperson for Fisheries Martin Ferris TD and Finance spokesperson Pearse Doherty TD condemned Minister Simon Coveney’s decision to sign a new Statutory Instrument to invalidate a recent High Court judgement that ruled to abolish the penalty point system for fishermen. 

Deputy Ferris said:

“The High Court judgement was greeted by a sigh of relief in the fishing industry and in fishing communities as the system was unfair and imposed penalty points without recourse to the courts for fishermen and with those points remaining on the vessel even after subsequent acquittal in court.

“The High Court judgement had accepted a case made by the industry that the system operated on the assumption of guilt of fishermen, before proper legal procedure.

“Now, Minister Simon Coveney has signed a new Statutory Instrument which does not remove penalty points from fishing licences, even if the licence holder is found innocent of any prosecution.”

Deputy Pearse Doherty added:

“The minister has done this without any consultation with the industry, with the opposition spokespeople, with the Oireachtas committee on fisheries or any other stakeholders.

“I believe this shows contempt for the courts, the fishing industry and the people making a living from it and Sinn Féin will submit a Dáil motion to repeal the Statutory Instrument as soon as possible.” 

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