9 June 2016
By Tom O’Sullivan
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has welcomed the U-turn in Fisheries Penalty Points, resulting in penalties only being applicable after a court has dealt with a case.
A Member of the European Committee on Fisheries, Ní Riada said,
“The last penalty point system was draconian, and I welcome the news that the Penalty Points will now only apply after a court has dealt with a case.
“This is in sharp contrast to the original system where we had criticised new legislation introduced in March which enforced penalty points for fisheries offences even where the alleged offender is cleared by the courts.
“Following the direction of fishermen across the island, I, along with my Sinn Féin colleagues have lobbied for this at local government, Dáil and European level. Joined by stakeholders, we campaigned long and hard for this change and the pressure and lobbying we did played a significant role in this U-turn.
“The Department of Agriculture recently announced that the new Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, Michael Creed TD, will introduce a new fishing penalty point system that will apply EU penalty points in conjunction with the prosecution process. I look forward to meeting him in the coming months to discuss ongoing issues affecting the industry.”