Matt Carthy MEP: “Brussels suspension of funding for Irish fishing communities an attack on Irish sovereignty”
Sinn Féin MEP for the Midlands North West, Matt Carthy, has criticised the European Commission for a suspension of €6 million of EU funding for the Irish fishing sector in the wake of the Irish penalty point system for fishermen being overhauled after the Irish courts in 2016 previously found the original statutory instrument to be unconstitutional.
“Whilst I have no issue with a penalty point system per se, what had been in place and was again proposed by Minister Creed in2018 violated the rights of individual fishermen and vessel owners throughout the country.
“Fishermen still had penalty points implemented on their fishing vessel even if a sanction was appealed and challenged effectively in a higher court.
“This was thankfully rejected by the Dáil, and now a new penalty point system is being proposed again by Minister Creed. However, unless the system is fair and proportionate it’s difficult to see how fishermen will be in a position to accept it.
“To make matters worse, the European Commission, pending any new implementation of a reformed penalty point system, have decided to sanction funding earmarked for Irish fishing communities.
“This is another example of the European Commission interfering in domestic matters concerning our fishing communities and punishing them.”