The decision by Michaél Martin not to appoint a junior Minister for the Marine is a massive snub to the Irish Fishing Industry
The new Government under Michaél Martin has snubbed the Irish fishing industry in the failure to appoint a Minister for State with Responsibilities for Fisheries.
With twenty junior ministers having been appointed to the news Dáil, Martin failed to appoint any one of them to the fishing industry.
Instead, Martin has appointed Fine Gael’s Martin Heydon, TD, as the Minister of State for Food, Forestry and Horticulture in the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.
Deputy Heydon, who hails from Kilcullen, Co Kildare, will take his position in the Department alongside Laois/Offaly TD and Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Barry Cowen and Green Party Senator Pippa Hackett, from Co Offaly, who has been appointed as a Minister of State in the Department of Agriculture with responsibility for land use and biodiversity.
Fianna Fáil leader, Michaél Martin has failed to appoint anyone with a Marine background to the DAFM, especially at a time when the EU Commission has put huge emphasis on the Blue Economy.
The Irish fishing community has again been ignored by the powers that be in the Dáil.
How does it look to our European neighbours and what signal it sends to the European Institutions when it comes to fisheries negotiations in the EU-UK Future Relationship Negotiations?
The snub to the Irish fishing industry is a massive indicator that Martin and Fianna Fáil have no interest in clearly representing the sector and instead are only concerned in securing the future interests of the farming industry post-Brexit.
Earlier today the Minister Cowen today announced €3.4 million in new investment by 15 aquaculture enterprises, with his Department’s European Maritime and Fisheries Fund Programme (EMFF) providing grants of €1,282,277.
So far in his first week in office, the Minister has failed to outline any direct plans to support the fishing industry in getting back to work after the COVID-19 crisis and Voluntary Tie-Up Scheme. His only contribution has been to the reiterate the Department’s stance in the EU-UK Future Relationship Negotiations.
In his last month in the DAFM, Michael Creed granted the farming industry nearly €65 million in financial supports while the seafood industry received €3.5 million which went to six food processors.