Government completely crucifying Irish fishermen to the proverbial cross, claims Michael Collins TD – – Our News, Your Views

Government completely crucifying Irish fishermen to the proverbial cross, claims Michael Collins TD

Rural Independent TD, Michael Collins has reacted angrily to the government’s formal establishment of the draconian penalty points system for regulatory infringements.

Speaking from his west-Cork constituency today (Monday, 26th January), Deputy Collins stated:

“Taoiseach Micheál Martin, while holding the agriculture, food and marine brief temporarily, signed the system of administrative sanctions into law on August 28th last, without the opportunity of any meaningful engagements with the fishing sector, even though his party had opposed this measure in 2018. Clearly, FF has done one thing in opposition and has taken a different position to hold onto power while in government. In doing so, the Taoiseach and Leader of Fianna Fáil has completely crucified Irish fishermen to the proverbial cross.”

“The Penalty points system, signed by way of statutory instrument (SI) by the Taoiseach, is draconian and does not allow for the right of appeal, except through a court of law, and penalties can still remain on a licence if the case is thrown out.”

“My Rural Independent Colleagues and I have used every available opportunity since last August to have this SI overturned.”

“We supported a successful motion to have this same SI overturned in 2018, when the then Minister for Agriculture, Michael Creed, attempted to introduce the system. That annulment was supported by Fianna Fáil. Then again last October, we supported the very same annulment motion. However, Fianna Fáil voted against it this time, signalling that the party has turned their backs on fishermen in a self-serving attempt to stay in power – irrespective of whose livelihoods they destroy.”

“Since returning to government, Fianna Fáil has shafted all fishermen and women at every opportunity, namely with the signing of this SI into law and recently with a complete sell-out of the entire industry in the Brexit negotiations. This represents a traitorous attack on coastal communities, our fishing industry, our independence and on our national sovereignty.

“The people of West Cork and every coastal community are rightly furious at the manner in which the current government has done everything possible to eradicate the fishing industry in Ireland,” concluded Deputy Collins.

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