Leading Journal of the Irish & UK Fishing Industries

Sinn Féin MEP Chris MacManus today visited  with Muireann Kavanagh at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on Arranmore.

Muireann, aged 14, made headlines recently after she wrote a personal letter to Minister Charlie McConalogue outlining her anger at “demeaning and detrimental” zero catch restrictions which will have a major impact on small-scale fishing, as done by her own family.

Following his meeting with Muireann, MacManus said “Today Muireann explained to me just how devastating these decisions are on her future in fishing and on her family’s way of life.  I would like thank Muireann’s teachers and classmates for the opportunity to meet them.

“I would also like to particularly thank Muireann for presenting me with the fishing line that she is longer allowed use. It is a powerful symbol of the neglect, disregard and downright disrespect that has been shown to fishing communities in recent decades by successive governments and ministers.”

MacManus’s Donegal visit today largely focused on fishing, coastal & island communities. Speaking after his visit to Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada, the Midlands Northwest MEP said, “As I said on Highland Radio this morning, I believe at an EU level the CFP must be relooked at. However it’s a wider issue that requires ambition from our own government in Ireland too.

“Our fishing, coastal & island communities deserve better. There are 3 Fs we must address when looking at the fishing industry.  Focused Leadership, Fairness and a Future.”

“Firstly, Focused leadership. We need a dedicated minister for fisheries. It’s too important to share with any other portfolio.”

“The second F is Fairness. A fair share of waters, of catches, of species, of opportunities. People want fairness. The very first delegation I organised to Brussels four years ago was a Fisheries delegation, where I invited Irish fishermen and organisation representatives to visit the EU institutions and present their case for a fairer sharing of fish in Irish waters at EU level.”

“Since that first delegation and right up to most recently when I visited the Skipper Fishing Expo it has been about fairness for our fishermen. Every person I’ve met in fishing communities and every coastal town or village or island I’ve visited, the message has been the same. People are looking for fairness, and right now our fishing communities are not getting fairness.”

“The final F is for a Future. A future for our young people in fishing communities. A future for young Muireann Kavanagh. A future for her family. A future for her classmates in Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada. A future for Arranmore, and a future for all of our fishing, coastal & island communities.”

Below: Chris MacManus MEP enroute to meet with Muireann Kavanagh at Gairmscoil Mhic Diarmada on Arranmore