SDLP welcomes the implementation of the fishing rights in the Irish Sea by Dail Eireann for Co Down fishermen
Cllr Dermot Curran said today:
“Back in the 1960s there was a gentleman’s agreement called Voisinage between the old Northern Ireland Parliament and Dail Eireann which enabled fishermen to fish in each other’s waters in the Irish Sea. That was promptly interrupted whenever a case was made to the Supreme Court in Dublin in 2016 which stated that the agreement was null and void. The Supreme Court agreed with the claimant and stated that the Irish Government would have to legislate for it. Eventually, Dail Eireann has been able to legislate for it yesterday which ensures that the Supreme Court judgement forbidding fishermen from the County Down ports fishing in Dundalk Bay has been overturned. This is good news for the local economy in Ardglass”.
Colin McGrath MLA said
“We would like to pay tribute to all those in the fishing industry for their hard work over the last few years when they could not use their neighbouring fishing grounds off the coast in Co Louth. Special thanks must go to the Irish Government and Dail Eireann for listening to the points made for reinstating fishing rights for the County Down fishermen in Dundalk Bay and the Irish Sea. This campaign was started back in late 2016 and involved meetings with the Irish Government and representations made to the British Government. It was raised in the House of Commons and at the EFRA Select Committee by Margaret Ritchie who has continued to work on this issue with the Minister for Agriculture and Marine in Dublin. We are now pleased that it has been satisfactorily resolved. The enactment of this legislation is good for the economy of the fishing industry – onshore and offshore in South Down. Fishermen are looking forward to being able to fish in Dundalk Bay again”.