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Byrnes get ‘unanimous support’ from European Parliament

Danny Byrne and Jim Higgins at the European Parliament in Brussels.

Danny Byrne and Jim Higgins at the European Parliament in Brussels.

The Byrne family’s petition to be compensated for being excluded from the Lost at Sea Scheme got “unanimous support” at the European Parliament yesterday (Monday), Jim Higgins MEP says.

The Byrne family sought, and were refused, assistance from the Lost at Sea Scheme in 2001 after their father (Francis, 40), brother (Jimmy, 16) and three crew members were lost when their boat the Skifjord struck a reef off Burtonport and sank on October 31, 1981.

In 2009, the then Ombudsman highlighted several anomalies in the implementation of the scheme and recommended that the Byrne family be granted €245,570 for having been wrongfully excluded.

Mr Higgins said after the meeting in Brussels: “Danny gave an excellent presentation. The Petitions Committee unanimously agreed to officially request that the Irish government reviews the case in light of the Ombudsman’s report and compensates the family.

“The Committee Chairman commented that the ‘Irish government must find a solution’ to the case and that is what we want – justice and compensation that is long overdue.”

“I am delighted and very encouraged. I spoke with the Taoiseach last night and am confident that this issue will be resolved.”

 

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