CJ Gaffney has asked the Minister Charlie McConalogue to withdraw comments over the ‘Mary Kate’ issue and to pay him the compensation due
Former boat owner and skipper, CJ Gaffney has asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue, TD to withdraw comments he made to him over the ‘Mary Kate’ issue and to compensate him for his losses.
Mr Gaffney has made the call on the Minister following an interview he was involved with on the Claire Byrne Live show on the 17 September last, where the Minister said that he supported 100% the homeowners who have been blighted by Mica.
The former boat owner said that has sympathy for and empathises with the homeowners and has drawn comparisons his situation where he bought a second-hand beam trawler, the ‘Mary Kate’ WD 30 from Germany in 2007 where it was fully certified by authorities there as seaworthy, and on importing the vessel into Ireland, the Marine Survey Office (MSO) also passed it seaworthy, only to find out in 2008, that in fact the boat was a floating death-trap.
After many long years of battling for compensation, the EU Commission gave their opinion that CJ should be compensated by the Irish government from the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund (EMFF) but was told by Minister McConalogue that he would not be signing-off any compensation claim in case it would ‘open the floodgates’ to other fishing vessels owners claiming compensation in similar circumstances.
On the Claire Byrne Live Show, the Minister said that it was not right that homeowners suffering with Mica in their houses were living with a situation that was not of their making.
“I quote your comments in support of your constituents and others impacted by mica.” The situation is not their fault”. “They are living with this stress daily and nightly”. “They are continually paying a mortgage” I too have lived with an ongoing financial debt, the loss of my whole livelihood for the last number of years – through no fault of my own.”
Mr Gaffney says that at the time the Minister gave him the news said, “You referred to my investment in a new fishing boat as both “a construction flaw” and a “failed commercial investment”. Given the content of your recent radio interview on the Mica issue, you might care to retract your embarrassing statement?
“I was 100% compliant in my due diligence and did everything in accordance with the regulations appropriate at the time, The Marine Survey Office accepted the official documentation of my former fishing boat Mary Kate WD30.
“The EU has indicated they have no objection to funds from the European Fisheries Fund being used to compensate me – given the very unique circumstances of my case. Your department has refused to allow compensation from these funds, yet the State /taxpayer will have to compensate the mica victims from exchequer funding to the tune of €2.5B???”