Minister of the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has hit out at his critics in the Dáil, taking aim in particular at Deputy, Thomas Pringle
Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Charlie McConalogue has hit out at his critics in the Dáil, taking aim in particular at fellow constituent, Deputy, Thomas Pringle, the Independent TD from Killybegs.
Minister McConalogue had taken exception to the constant rallying that he has done nothing for the Irish fishing and processing industry during his time in office. In a gloves-off statement during yesterday’s Statements he said, “He (Deputy Pringle) can’t have been paying too much attention because he’s obviously missed all of the investment that has gone into the piers and harbours, whether it be Greencastle or indeed Killybegs or Rathmullan or the many piers and harbours across the country.”
In relation to the cuts suffered by the Irish fishing sector in relation to Brexit and the Trade and Co-operation Agreement, the Minister pointed out that Deputy Pringle was in fact in favour of Brexit, which cost the Irish fishing industry a heavy price, a situation that the government and the EU is trying to remedy.
He said the announcement of €35m investment today in the fish processing sector shows the work he is doing to help the industry. He said that th Killybegs is the “heartland of the processing sector” in Ireland and all companies there will avail of the funding.
He said that he is fighting for additional quota at national level and the biggest single impact to the country’s fishing quota was Brexit. “Something which Deputy Pringle, who’s from Killybegs ardently supported and advocated for,” stated the Minister.
He continued, “OK, he didn’t vote in Northern Ireland or Britain, but he ardently supported Brexit. And of course, nowhere in all of Europe has been more impacted by Brexit than Killybegs, because it’s the centre of our fishing industry nationally and no sector of our economy has been impacted.
“So, if he wants to wonder about making an impact as a local deputy backing fisheries. He should maybe take a look in the mirror and relationship to the impact of his own policy. Not that anyone paid attention to it, but that was his policy and what he advocated for.
In relation to the fishery policy and the control issues, the Minister said that he recognised that it has been a “challenging time”.
“I know this the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority are attending the Óireachtas Agriculture Marine Committee next week and would be a good opportunity for discussion around that.”
Responding to Deputy Mac Lochlainn who raised the issue around transporting fish across the border between Northern Ireland and Ireland, he said, “There hasn’t been any change from Brexit to that situation, that pertains now post Brexit with regard to weighing controls between Derry and Killybegs, between Northern and the Republic. It is the same as it would have been prior to Brexit, so Brexit hasn’t been a factor in relation to the same control issues and rules apply.