Private Members Bill S.I 318 of 2020 penalty points system

The Private Members Bill to annul the penalty points system tabled by Sinn Féin has been voted down in the Dáil tonight.

A Private Members Bill to annul S.I 318 of 2020 tabled by Sinn Féin Fisheries spokesperson, Padraig MacLochlainn TD has been voted down in the Dáil tonight.

The Private Members Bill was introduced by Deputy MacLochlainn in an effort to convince the Government to withdraw the controversial penalty points system signed into law by the Taoiseach Micheál Martin when he was acting as Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine.

The statutory instrument introduces into legislation a penalty points system similar to a system previously ruled as unconstitutional by the High Court and the Supreme Court.

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Issues include the level of the burden of proof, the assignment of the quota and how the penalty points will pass on, so even if a boat is sold and the tonnage is split up among four different boats the penalty points are carried over.

Other issues involve points being assigned to the licence holder remain on the licence even if a court of law strikes them out.

The Private Members Bill vote was 61 for and 78 votes against.

Earlier today Independent Deputy, Thomas Pringle, TD predicted the Government would vote to keep the statutory instrument they themselves voted down in a historical act in 2018 and pointed to the hypocrisy of Fianna Fáil.

The Minister can say whatever he wants in opposition, and when he goes into government, he can then do whatever he wants. He can do the exact opposite and no one bats an eyelid.

“The Government will pass this through the House because it has the numbers. This is despite the Minister’s party colleague acting as if he were in opposition while in government and saying how terrible this is and how much it will impact on the poor fishermen in west Cork. Yet he will vote with the Minister to ensure it is implemented.”

Last night, Sinn Féin TD, Padraig MacLochlainn “Fianna Fáil are totally exposed by Michaél Martin’s action to sign this penalty points system into law, which contradicts their previous stance on this issue.”

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Sinn Féin’s Private Members Bill on Penalty Points Defeated

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