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Ferris gives cautious welcome to Government climbdown on Fisheries Bill

7 March, 2006


The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Fisheries, Martin Ferris TD has given a cautious welcome to reports that the Government may be ready to significantly change the recently passed Fisheries Bill to allow for the imposition of administrative rather than judicial sanctions. The Bill was passed in the Dáil despite massive opposition from within the fisheries sector as well as opposition TDs and disquiet among Fianna Fáil backbenchers.

Deputy Ferris said: “While I will await to see exactly what the Government is proposing, any moves away from the attempt to criminalise Irish fishermen, as currently contained in the Bill, must be welcome. I proposed a detailed table of administrative sanctions as an amendment to the Bill but this was defeated by the Government. Now it appears that having won the debate, the position of opponents of the Bill may be vindicated. If so, it is unfortunate that the Government could not have done this at drafting stage, or had the courage to accept the amendments proposed by myself and other opposition spokespersons.” ENDS

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