Ní Riada welcomes motion defending fishing communities 

Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the passing of a Sinn Féin motion vowing to protect coastal communities from the dangers posed by Brexit.

The Ireland South MEP was speaking at this weekend’s Ard Fheis in favour of Motion 41, which commits the party to protecting the economic wellbeing of our coastal communities that have a stake in the Irish fishing industry from any negative consequences that may arise from Brexit.

“It is of the utmost importance that this Ard Fheis endorses Motion 41 and any other motions in support of our beleaguered fishing industry,” she told delegates.

“Decades of neglect by Fine Gael and Fianna Fail governments have pushed the many thousands of individuals, families and communities that rely on fishing to breaking point.

“Unless they are resolutely defended Brexit will sound the death knell for small coastal communities around the country.

“Through my roles in both the Budgets and Fisheries Committees in Europe I know first hand just how little work is being done by the Irish government to defend fishing communities and it’s plainly obvious how little regard is being show for any Irish sector by the British Government.

“The motion calls on us to protect coastal communities from any negative effects of Brexit. These are many but in particular I would point to the existential threat posed to our indigenous industry by the prospect of boats displaced from British waters post-Brexit simply making the short trip into already saturated Irish waters.

“These boats include highly destructive supertrawlers which offer nothing to our economy, damage our industry and must be banned.

“Thousands of families and coastal communities around the country, having been let down by other parties, are looking to us as their last hope to protect their livelihoods. We cannot let them down.

“Please give a resounding “YES” to Motion 41 and in doing so send a message to the Irish and British Governments, to the EU but most importantly to those living in coastal communities that we stand with them.”

Motion 41 was passed by delegates unanimously.