NEWS

Donegal fishermen's chief hits out at criticism of Brexit talks

Sean O'Donoghue was responding to comments from the former chairman of Bord Iascaigh Mhara

Staff Reporter

Reporter:

Staff Reporter

Fishermen's chief hits out at criticism of Brexit talks

The chief executive of the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) has hit out at criticism that fishermen are in the dark over the negotiations about the future of the industry after Brexit.
Sean O'Donoghue was responding to comments from the former chairman of Bord Iascaigh Mhara (BIM) and retired Chief Executive of the Killybegs Fishermen's Organisation, Joey Murrin, who said Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine Michael Creed needed to make the situation transparent.
But Mr O’Donoghue said Mr Murrin was “misinformed” as he was not involved in negotiations that are taking place.
He said he would let the “minister speak for himself,” but he personally is involved in a weekly basis in negotiations about the future of the fishing industry after Brexit.
Mr O’Donoghue said that he felt that the minister has kept the industry informed.
"Brexit is the number one priority for the KFO and it has been since the referendum of June 2016 and we have lobbied at government, minister and commissioner level, and with the Task Force 50 which is headed up by Michel Barnier( the European Chief Negotiator for the United Kingdom Exiting the European Union)," he said.
“We are jointly working together in trying to make sure that we will have continued access to UK waters in the transition and in phase two,” he said.
“We have got very clear commitments that the only way this can be done is that fisheries cannot be isolated in the negotiations and it is part of the wider trade negotiations.
“We have been working day and night and when I hear someone saying nothing is happening, I am very annoyed about it.”
Mr Murrin had said on Monday that Ireland is in danger of being “left to pick up the crumbs in the negotiations”.
“That is why I am calling now on Minister Creed to state clearly what the position is with regard to Brexit," he said. The industry needs transparency on the future prospects for this industry which is so vital to the coastal communities around Ireland.”