Sinn Féin TD for Donegal Pearse Doherty has said that we cannot abandon Irish fishermen when they are going about their business under threat from Scottish and British authorities in the waters that do not belong to Britain.
Teachta Doherty said:
“The first priority here is the Government needs to defend the interests of the Irish fishing community. The escalation of developments over the past week by the Scottish authorities is seriously unhelpful. It also puts the future of fishing communities at serious risk.
“The situation needs to be resolved and we are calling on the Government to escalate diplomatic discussions with the Scottish authorities and British authorities to make sure that the interests of our fishing community is defended and they will have the full support of Sinn Féin in doing that.
“Scotland’s actions are unwarranted and such hostile statements and threat of action are in stark contrast to a nation has signed up to the EU common fishery policy has said that it wished to remain in the European Union.
“Should all diplomatic avenues fail and Scottish authorities are prepared to carry out their threats, then we need to deploy our Sea Fisheries Protections Agency vessels to protect Irish fishermen and their livelihoods. We cannot allow any situation where Scottish authorities are seizing or impounding Irish registered vessels or equipment.
“This must only be an option of utter last resort and would represent a major failure of diplomacy, but we cannot abandon our fishermen when they are going about their business under threat from Scottish and British authorities in waters that do not belong to Britain.”