The Chief of the KFO does not believe the Marliona incident last Tuesday had anything to do with Brexit. Photo: Insenaval
Nearly a week after the ‘Marliona incident’ the British Royal Navy has so far not come forward with an explanation as to the events that took place last Tuesday.
Greencastle based MV ‘Marliona’ was fishing 60 miles north of Tory Island when it received a call from the British Royal Navy frigate HMS ‘Lancaster’ to vacate the area informing the skipper they were commencing a joint operation with a submarine which would continue over the following three days.
An investigation has been launched by the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs into the incident that happened in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone (EEZ).
Whatever had happened last Tuesday 21 July, Sean O’Donoghue, the CEO of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation of which the MV ‘Marliona’ is a member has said he believes that the incident has nothing to do with Brexit.
Speaking to Highland Radio based in the northwest of Ireland, Mr O’Donoghue gave his reaction to the event.
“Last Tuesday I got notification that one of our vessels that is based in Greencastle was asked by a UK naval vessel to leave in an area, which is in the Irish EEZ north of Tory as such. We were totally taken by surprise by this as I originally thought that the vessel was in UK waters, the UK EEZ but it wasn’t. It was in Irish waters.
“All I know was that I immediately took it up with our Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority who immediately took it up with foreign affairs and defence.
“I haven’t heard back from the Foreign Affairs what the outcome of it was but as far as I am concerned the British naval vessel, the Lancaster had no jurisdiction and no authority to tell the vessel to leave the fishing area.
“As far as I understand it they said they were doing exercises there for the three days.”
Mr O’Donoghue was asked if he thought this was a one of incident?
“I think some people are trying to add two and two together and come up with five.
“As I see it, this has got absolutely nothing to do with Brexit because the Lancaster no doubt was actually well within the Irish EEZ. So there was no question about that.
“We weren’t notified that they were operating there. You would have imagined that the vessel would have been in touch with Foreign Affairs and Defence and there would have been an agreement that they do it.
“I am not sure whether this had been a mistake or whether somebody had been notified about it but we were not notified about it.”