Pb4P TD, Paul Murphy has been accused of cowardly and unsupported lies over allegations of modern-day slavery in the Irish fishing industry

Pb4P TD, Paul Murphy has been accused of peddling unsupported lies over allegations of modern-day slavery in the Irish fishing industry

A representative of the Irish fishing industry has today refuted allegations made in the Dáil yesterday by several TD’s and especially those made by People Before Profit TD, Paul Murphy. 

In an outrageous display in the Dáil, only inspired by Seaspiracy, Dublin South-West representative lashed out at the Irish fishing industry claiming it was guilty of everything from hoovering up fish to modern day slavery. 

At yesterday’s Statement of Fisheries and Coastal Communities with the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Charlie McConalogue, TD, Murphy went on a tirade accusing the Irish industry of wrecking the entire seabed and releasing thousands of tonnes of carbon into the atmosphere endangering th future of the planet. 

He proceeded to call for more marine protected areas, and also called for them to be interconnected claiming that our marine environment was in bad health, severely degraded and in rapid decline. 

He then accused the industry of hoovering up fish and along with other TD’s claimed that modern day slavery of undocumented workers from non-EEA citizens was at epidemic levels within the Irish fishing industry. 

On the issue of modern-day slavery within the fishing industry he said, “We have horrific exploitation taking place based in this country. The kind of horror stories that you hear. 

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“Effective human trafficking of migrant workers into this country on boats, working extremely long hours, in extremely dangerous conditions, working overnight day-after-day-after-day with no protection in terms of health and safety. Suffering injuries in many cases and for many of these fishers, the way it comes to an end, is that they suffer a significant injury, and they are no longer able to continue. And then that is them, they are off the boat. The owner of the boat doesn’t care about them anymore. It’s an absolute scandal and it continues to happen in this country. 

“The International Workers Transport Federation does excellent work in the terms of highlighting and campaigning on this issue but now we need action by the Government. 

“We know, for example, that there’s 211 boats eligible for the A-typical working scheme but only 227 live permits. So, it begs the question very clearly, who is crewing these boats and it suggests very large amounts of undocumented workers. So, we need a census to take place now. We need protection of workers across the industry, and we need proper transposition of EU directives and working time within fisheries and observation of that to make sure workers’ rights in that sector are being protected. 

Murphy’s claims were today refuted by Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation’s CEO, Patrick Murphy who claimed that Paul Murphy’s actions in the Dáil under parliamentary privilege was a “disgrace”. 

He said, “It is great for the likes of him that has Dáil privilege that protects him so they can say things like that. 

“I’d love to sit down with Mr Murphy and see what evidence or proof he has. 

“We’re talking about a proper discussion about what he believes is wring in the industry because of he certainly hasn’t shown any indication of support for the industry ever. 

“This is one of the sixty or so Dáil deputies that have that have laid their cards on the table and I would say must be happy that we have lost our fish because he has never defended that. So, whenever he can have a pop at the industry he has. 

“Politicians like this, it just surprises me how they end up getting into the Dáil, and I’m amazed that people inside his constituency vote for a person with such low character. 

“He takes one side of a story and runs with it and doesn’t give an opportunity for the other side to respond. 

“It’s amazing because he is one of the deputies inside the Dáil that accuses the Government of being one-sided for not giving representatives like himself speaking time to debate issues or gives out about the way they conduct themselves in business. 

“I’m a firm believer in practising what you preach. 

“If he would have given the industry a chance to get both sides of the story, but to be one-sided like that is a disgrace. 

“We are a poorer country for electing representatives like that. It is evidence of why we are in such a sorry state if that is the type of contributions he makes in the Dáil. 

“I completely refute what he says. It is absolute lies. Absolute lies. 

“There is a more sinister side to it but we would not be given the opportunity to defend ourselves by such a callous attack. It’s just disgraceful. 

by Oliver McBride 

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