Donegal Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Minister Michelle O'Neill visits Arranmore Island

Published: 13 July, 2012

Minister Michelle O'Neill visits Arranmore Island in the company of Councillor Marie Therese Gallagher and Pearse Doherty TD.

Speaking after the meeting the Minister O'Neill said:

"During my visit we discussed the restrictive measures imposed by the EU off the north coast of Ireland and the west of Scotland and the effects that these have on fishing communities. We have a real opportunity in future through the reformed Common Fisheries Policy to work much more closely together at regional level on fisheries management. I think it will be essential to regional fishery management plans and technical measures that have been developed with the involvement of coastal communities. Such measures are more likely to be effective and gain support than blanket measures dictated by Europe."

The Minister added: "This visit has been very useful, providing me an opportunity to hear the proposals of the island fishing community here. I wish them success in their attempts to improve the contribution of fishing to island economies."

Deputy Pearse Doherty, who had invited the Minister to visit the island, said:

"I want to thank the Minister and her team for taking the time to visit the island today and hear first hand the difficulties faced by our island fishermen. Much of the discussion centred on the closure of Area VIa and the impact this has had on coastal communities across this island.

"I feel that today was a productive meeting. The Minister took a personal interest in the issues raised and through her close working relationship with the relevant Ministers in Ireland and Scotland, is in a position to ensure this issue is further progressed on a regional basis. I will also be in touch with Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Simon Coveney to highlight this issue.

"I would be hopeful that, with the full co-operation of the relevant parties, the development of regional co-operation on this issue would be a progressive measure in determining fishing policies, which protect the traditional livelihoods of all our small fishermen.