Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Patrick Murphy, CEO of the Irish South and West Fish Producers Organisation has today come out before the January Council of Ministers meeting to be held tomorrow the 23 rd of January calling on Minister McConalogue to give a public assurance that the informal talks between the EU Commission and Iceland on access into our Waters is not up for discussion at that Council Meeting.

Following a lengthy two hour online meeting called by the Minister which was held on Wednesday 17 th January, 2024 at 6 pm, Mr Murphy was told that recent media articles and letters sent by Industry to the Commission were unhelpful to him during his talks with the Commission on Ireland’s position relating to Icelandic vessels entering into and fishing our waters.

The media article detailing an offer of 6,000 tons of Mackerel to Ireland was confirmed by the Minister during the meeting but he advised that this was an offer that could not be followed through on by the Danish Ministry – begging the question: why therefore did they make such a ‘without prejudice’ offer.

In his engagement with the Minister, Mr. Murphy clearly expressed his views on this issue to the Minister and voiced his astonishment as to why, during the many recent meetings with the Minister, the existence of this letter was not disclosed.

Quite extraordinarily, we were instead told that the Irish had “no friends”, that we were on our own and while the deal being put forward by the Spanish Presidency was not ideal, holding out for more could leave Irish Fishermen with nothing – and all this despite Mr. Murphy reminding the Minister of the content of the Legal Opinion the Minister had sought on the issue that confirmed the strength of Ireland’s claim to this extremely valuable Mackerel.