Ó Fearraigh calls for Cross Party Support for Sinn Féin Amendment to EU Legislation to Help Bolster Irish islands
Sinn Féin Councillor John Sheamais Ó Fearraigh has encourage all Irish MEPs to row in behind the party’s amendment to EU legislation which calls for funding for Irish islands when it comes before the European Parliament tomorrow (Thursday).
His comments come ahead of tomorrow’s plenary vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund which aims to promote more sustainable fishing practices and supports coastal communities diversify their local economies.
Cllr Ó Fearraigh said:
“An amendment to this legislation which has been drafted by Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada – if passed – will provide vital support to our struggling island communities, including those off the coast of Donegal.
“The amendment would allow the EU to finance 85% of operations to the Irish islands with the Irish exchequer footing just 15% of the bill.
“And while it’s my understanding that while this important amendment was originally accepted when it came before the Fisheries committee, it now appears to be the intention of the EU’s ALDE political grouping, of which Fianna Fáil is a member, to oppose it.
“Post Brexit, Ireland’s many island communities will be some of the most geographically isolated parts of the EU and so it’s therefore vital that they are supported which is what this amendment aims to do.
“Evidently, Fianna Fail now needs to demand that their group in Parliament drops its opposition to this legislation in the interest of the country.
“For ALDE or any other political group to vote against support for some of the most isolated islands and regions in the EU would be a slap in the face to the people of Ireland.
“Likewise, it’s vital that all Irish MEPs row in behind our island communities and I am therefore calling on them to vote to support this amendment which seeks to protect rural, coastal and island communities here.”