By Dan Walsh
Fishermen from Kilmore Quay are seriously concerned about the future of the national fishing industry and the lack of support from the Irish Government and Eurocrats and the deteriorating situation was under discussion last night at an emergency meeting facilitated by local district Cllr Jim Codd.
Earlier this week two Kilmore Quay fishing vessels were out off the coast – only four of Kilmore Quays fishing vessels were out this week as the other eighteen were on a voluntary tie up scheme, such is the way of domestic fishing here!
The two Kilmore Quay fishing vessels were fishing an area of Irish waters, along with four Belgian vessels when an Irish navy ship approached. It ignored the Belgian boats and engaged the Kilmore ships with the following stark warning: – “This is the Warship William Butler Yeats. Prepare for boarding.”
Cllr Jim Codd said a €65 million Naval gunship threatened two thirty-year-old ‘rust buckets’ from their own country while ignoring foreign vessels because they claimed they had no idea of how big a cargo they were allowed to carry?
“Isn’t it true now that our government is busy preparing new processing facilities to be used by EU fishing vessels while also pushing a decommissioning scheme on our own fleet?” queried Cllr Codd, who added; “Isn’t it true that the 15,000 people who work in our fishing industry feel betrayed and desperate, and are willing to go to jail at this point to defend their livelihood?”
Cllr Codd is demanding an explanation as to why the French cannot physically fulfil their Monkfish quota while the Irish fill their measly quota in a day or two.
Cllr Codd also told WexfordLocal.com that there are newly built Belgian boats that never had their gear dipped in any waters, except Irish waters, and yet the Irish Government is pushing for decommissioning.
In conclusion, Cllr Codd said; “I’m demanding to know why our public representatives are so quiet and so accepting about the use of a national Naval Warship against four unarmed working men.”