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News - Donegal Sinn Fein

Sinn Féin Motion Calls for Legislation on Penalty Points System for Fishermen to be revoked

Sinn Féin Finance Spokesperson Deputy Pearse Doherty has today (Tuesday) tabled a motion calling for controversial legislation imposing the current penalty points system on the fishing industry to be revoked, and has criticised Minister Coveney for having signed the Statutory Instrument for its implementation, despite a recent High Court judgement that ruled to abolish the system.

Deputy Doherty said:

“I very much support this motion tabled today by myself and my colleagues in Sinn Féin calling for the Statutory Instrument signed by the Minister for the Marine which forces the current penalty points system on fishermen to be annulled.

“The system is grossly unfair and, despite a High Court judgement ruling that the system operated on the assumption of guilt, the Minister choose to sign the Statutory Instrument allowing for penalty points to be imposed on fishing licences even if the holder is found innocent of any prosecution.

“The High Court ruled that that the provisions of the current penalty points system for fishermen who engage in illegal, unreported or unregulated fishing were unconstitutional and therefore not fit for purpose, and yet the Minister has ignored this.

“He has chosen instead to sign this legislation without even having first consulted with the fishing industry or with the very people whose livelihoods which his decision stands to affect.

“By signing Statutory Instrument no 125 of 2016 he has ridden roughshod over the rights of fishermen and indeed over the High Court. Fishermen are used to governments introducing new regulations and blaming the EU but it is a new low for a government that was kicked out of power to bring in an instrument and deny any debate on it.

“I and my Sinn Fein colleagues have tabled a motion annulling this instrument. However, while my motion is on today’s Order Papers, the Government will not allow it onto the agenda.

“Fishermen in Killybegs have contacted me expressing their anger at what they see as the criminalisation of their livelihoods. It strikes me as unprecedented for a Statutory Instrument to be brought in that flies in the face of a High Court judgment.

“This instrument requires a full debate and a real discussion on how we treat our fishermen, this is why my party and I have decided to table today’s motion calling on the Statutory Instrument to be annulled.”

Pat Doherty MP, Cathal McCloskey, Pearse Doherty TD, Grace McDermott and Sean Hughes pictured at the recently unveiled statue at the Drumboe Martyrs' monument.

2016 Drumboe Commemoration to be biggest in decades to mark Easter Rising Centenary

The Tír Chonaill Commemoration Committee has announced details of this year’s Easter Commemoration - the main republican commemoration in Donegal - stating that they hope the event will be the biggest commemoration in decades in order to make the centenary of the 1916 Rising.

The commemoration will assemble at Johnson’s Corner, Stranorlar at 2.30pm pm Easter Sunday before proceeding to the Drumboe Martyrs’ monument. Main speaker at the event will be Pearse Doherty TD.

Tír Chonaill Commemoration Committee spokesperson, Hughie Doherty extended an invite to everyone in Donegal to attend;

“In order to mark the centenary of the 1916 Rising, we hope that this year’s commemoration will be the biggest in decades.

“We have recently refurbished the Drumboe Martyrs’ monument in order to mark the occasion, installing a new statue, several plaques and lowering the wall in order to make it more visible to passers-by.

“This year’s commemoration will be led by a full colour party in 1916 style military uniform and promises to be a fitting tribute to all the men and women who gave their lives for Irish freedom throughout the generations.

“I would extend an invite to the people of Donegal, of all political persuasions and none, to come and join us on Easter Sunday and pay tribute to Ireland’s heroes.

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