Taoiseach Leo Varadkar visits Howth
The impact Brexit will have on the future of the Irish fishing industry, the dredging of Howth harbour, and the current scheme for migrants were uppermost in Sean Dorans mind when he met with An Taoiseach and other government officials on the west pier in Howth last week. Taoiseach Leo Varadkar, Minister Richard Bruton TD, Senator Catherine Noone and the Mayor of Fingal Anthony Lavin met with Commodore Joe McPeake from Howth Yacht, Harbour Master Harry Mc Loughlin, along with Sean Doran to discuss issues related to Howth harbour.
The long awaited dredging of the harbour was one of the main points of discussion, but it would seem that it is not on the cards for the near future as consultants and planning permission are still not in place. The last full dredging of the harbour took place in 1982; it is well overdue as the silting in the harbour continues to cause problems for commercial activity in the harbour.
When speaking with An Taoiseach Sean discussed the issues around the current scheme which is in place for migrant workers, emphasising that it is not fit for purpose and how unsatisfactory it is for all parties. Some individuals are saying migrant workers are being exploited but there have been no cases uncovered or brought to court. Sean emphatically pointed out that if there were skippers who exploited some immigrant crewmen, this would be highlighted by their crew mates and other skippers as this would not be condoned. Fishermen work on a relatively small boat and teamwork and the welfare of crew mates are paramount.
Sean also availed of the opportunity to highlight how detrimental it will be to the Irish fishing industry if the UK takes back control of the waters with Brexit and how Ireland’s fishing quota will diminish further, with the result that the amount of imported fish will rise dramatically. So much so that in 5 years time most of the fish served in Howth restaurants may be imported!
Action needs to be taken from An Taoiseachs office level throughout the Brexit negotiations to ensure the longevity of the Irish fishing industry.
Sean questions, how much more of our natural resources will the government hand over to the big boys in the EU?