Cllr Tom Cunningham Calls For Irish Government to Protect Irish Fishing Interests

Sinn Féin Councillor Tom Cunningham has called on the Irish Government to ensure the rights of the Irish fishing industry are protected in the aftermath of Brexit.

Cllr Cunningham said Irish fishermen were in danger of becoming “the meat in the sandwich between the EU and Britain during any talks on Brexit.”

Cllr Cunningham who hails from the fishing village of Clogherhead said “Our government needs to make it absolutely clear to the EU negotiating team how important our fishing industry is to this island. You can be sure that the French, Dutch and other EU countries will do everything to protect their fishing industries and we must not be any different.”

At present, Ireland catches half its quota in British Waters. The London Convention of 1964 allowed Irish fishing vessels to fish in British waters before their entry into the EU. Britain has expressed that they are seeking to exit that agreement. After Brexit Ireland will have 30% of Europe’s viable fishing water and 40% of its fishing stocks yet Irish fishermen are restricted to landing just 5% or less of the overall catch putting tremendous pressure on the industry.

Cllrs Tom Cunningham & Imelda Munster TD at  Clogherhead Harbour


Cllr Tom Cunningham asked “what will happen to the EU vessels that are currently fishing in British waters? They will be displaced and the obvious place for them to go to is Ireland’s waters. Stakeholders estimate Brexit will cause the loss of between 500-600 Irish vessels and as our industry is comprised of small fishing vessels, in real terms, that means thousands of families losing their primary source of income and the decimation of coastal communities right around Ireland.”

Cllr Cunningham called on the Irish Government to “demand that the non-Irish vessels that are displaced from British waters are not redirected into increasingly crowded Irish waters.”

The British decided in July of this year to withdraw from the London Convention of 1964, however, Cllr Cunningham said he would give a cautious welcome to “remarks from the British Minister Michael Gove in August on allowing EU vessels to use British waters post-Brexit” but warned “these comments will cause as much confusion as relief. The Irish fishing industry needs certainty, it needs to know what is coming down the line so they can make adequate preparations, they don’t need this flip-flop approach from the British Government. The onus is on the Irish Government to represent the fishing industry and fishing communities.”

Time to plan for Irish Unity’ – Gerry Adams TD

DSC_3254_6510Speaking in Washington last night Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD called on “all parties which see the value of Irish Unity to act together.”

Gerry Adams said:

“The academic paper by Professor Kurt Huebner of Vancouver University, entitled, ‘Modeling Irish Unification’, which was published in November 2015 is an important contribution to the debate about Irish unity. The author concluded that political and economic unification would likely result in a sizeable boost in economic outcomes and incomes in the North and a smaller boost in the South.

“In November 2016 Sinn Féin launched ‘Towards a United Ireland’. It is a detailed discussion paper setting out the arguments for a United Ireland. It addresses the impact on the economy, on inward investment, on exports, on the health service, on the border region and much more.

“It tackles head on and demolishes the argument that the people of the North and South cannot afford a United Ireland.

“The cause of uniting Ireland is not the property of any one grouping or party. That has always been Sinn Féin’s position. I therefore welcome Fianna Fáil’s entry into the discussion. It will be interesting to read the detail of whatever paper Fianna Fáil publishes. They should also engage with campaigning in communities and political actions and cooperation within the Oireachtas.

“For Sinn Féin’s part we are currently exploring the possibility of establishing a Dáil Committee on Irish Unity, that would bring forward proposals for what a United Ireland might look like, how we get there and how the Irish State needs to plan for reunification across all areas of the economy and society.

“To inform that discussion we are also working on a follow-up paper to our ‘Towards a United Ireland’ discussion document. It is a white paper-type document that lays out the benefits and outworkings of Unity across a range of areas, including enterprise, health, education, agriculture, energy, infrastructure and taxation on a short/medium and long term basis.

“It is expected that the British government will trigger Article 50 shortly to commence the negotiations on Brexit. This, the Assembly election results, which saw the Unionist parties lose their Assembly majority; and the announcement by the Scottish First Minister of a second Independence referendum, are the context for the current discussions on a United Ireland.

“It is crucial that Irish-America is fully aware of the hazard that a hard Brexit poses for the island of Ireland.  The reality is that Brexit is bad for the island as a whole. It runs contrary to the political, economic and social interests and aspirations of the Irish people. In the Brexit referendum vote in the North last June Brexit was rejected. This was repeated in the recent Assembly election which saw a majority of MLAs opposed to Brexit elected.

“The people of the six counties have not consented to being dragged out of the European Union. For the British government to ignore this fact flies in the face of the progress that been made in the North since the start of the peace process and the signing of the Good Friday.

“On Monday, Michelle O’Neill warned that Brexit will significantly undermine the Good Friday Agreement and lead to the imposition of a hard border. She argued that all of this increases the urgency for a referendum on Irish unity.

“The Good Friday Agreement obliges the Irish and British governments to legislate for unity if that is the choice of the people north and south. These changing times present real challenges and real opportunities. We need to continue to strategise, organise, and persuade for Irish Unity. We need to plan for a United Ireland. There is no short cut. Irish America has a real and crucial role in this transition.

“Reunification cannot be simply a case of adding the north to the south. It must be an agreed Ireland – in which unionists can feel comfortable and secure.

“It is about creating a new Ireland – in which the rights of citizens are upheld by the state. A new Ireland built on the principles of equality and inclusion. A new Ireland with a new constitution and Bill of Rights.

“A new Ireland with symbols and emblems to reflect a fair and inclusive society, that includes the safeguarding of British Citizenship and recognition of the Unionist Identity.

“This cannot be a rhetorical debate. All parties that see the value of reunification and hold to the ideal of unity must act together.

“There is an onus on the Irish government to plan for unity. To become a persuader for unity. To build the maximum agreement and to secure and win a referendum on unity.

“The days of leaving the debate on a united Ireland for another time are over. History has presented us with an unprecedented opportunity to advance this entirely legitimate and logical objective. Let’s not waste it.”

Irish language must be nurtured and commitments delivered – Adams

DSC_3254_6510Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams TD is in Ráth Cairn in County Meath this evening speaking at the opening event of a weekend of debate and discussion to mark the centenary of the Easter Rising of 1916 and the 35th anniversary of the H-Block hunger strike of 1981.

The weekend has been organised by Cumann Shinn Féin Ráth Cairn and all of the contributions will be as Gaeilge.

Speaking on the growth of the Irish language in recent years Gerry Adams said “there is the failure by the British Government to deliver on the commitment of the St. Andrew’s Agreement to introduce an Acht na Gaeilge and there is a particular onus on the Irish government to demand that this commitment is honoured.”

Teachta Adams said:

“There is now a thriving, vibrant activist community in the North. Bobby Sands and his comrades helped create the conditions for this growth.

Of course, it is important to remember that there is still opposition to the Irish language in that part of the island most obviously to the introduction of an Acht na Gaeilge and the resourcing of Irish medium education.

There is the failure by the British government to deliver on the commitment of the St. Andrew’s Agreement to introduce an Acht na Gaeilge and there is a particular onus on the Irish government to demand that this commitment is honoured.

I also have very real concerns about the decisions of DUP Education Minister Peter Weir in respect of Irish medium education.

In the south, Sinn Féin supports the appointment of a senior government Minister for the Irish language at the cabinet with responsibility for the Irish language and the Gaeltacht.

In addition to that, in Sinn Féin’s pre-budget submission that Pearse Doherty will outline on Tuesday, we are promoting a package of €14 million in investment in the Irish language.

Included in our proposals is the provision of €5 million in additional capital funding for Udarás na Gaeltachta, almost €8 million in additional funding for Foras na Gaeilge and €1.5million in funding for language planning.

Sinn Féin believes that language rights must be protected through the implementation by public authorities of the commitments made under EU Legislation.

Irish speakers must have the right to conduct their business through Irish with all local government and state departments.

The provision of education through the medium of Irish, from pre-school through to post-graduate studies, should be available North and South to those who choose it.

While the struggle to attain full Irish language rights for all citizens has to continue it is a fact that the progress that has been made in recent years is primarily down to the diligence, vision and hard work of Gaelgóirí and that progress has to continue.

That is how the Irish language movement has been built. The attitude of ‘don’t just say it, do it’. That’s the work we must continue doing”

Ba cheart an Ghaeilge a chothú agus gealltanais a chomhlíonadh – Adams

Beidh Uachtarán Shinn Féin, Gerry Adams TD i Ráth Cairn anocht ag labhairt ag ócáid oscailte deireadh seachtaine de dhíospóireacht agus plé chun comóradh a dhéanamh ar chéad bliain ó Éirí Amach na Cásca 1916 agus ar chúig bliana is tríocha ó na stailceanna ocrais sna H-blocanna  i 1981.
Tá an deaireadh seachtaine eagraithe ag Cumann Shinn Féin Ráth Cairn agus is trí Gheailge a reachtálfar na himeachtaí ar fad.
Ag labhairt dó ar fhás na Gaeilge le blianta beaga anuas dúirt Gerry Adams “tá ag teipeadh ar Rialtas na Breataine, Acht na Gaeilge a thabhairt isteach de réir Chomhaontú Chill Rímhinn. Tá dualgas ar an Rialtas in Átha Cliath brú a chur ar Rialtas na Breataine seo a chomhlíonadh.”

Dúirt Teachta Adams:

Anois tá pobal na Gaeilge atá beo bríomhar sa tuaisceart. Chuidig Bobby agus a chomradaithe leis an fás seo a chur ar bun.

Ar ndóigh, ná déanaimis dearmad go bhfuil daoine ann ató go foill in aghaidh na Gaeilge ó thuaidh. Tá siad in aghaidh Acht na Gaeilge agus oideachas trí Ghaeilge a mhaoiniú.

Go sonrach, tá ag teipeadh ar Rialtas na Breataine, Acht na Gaeilge a thabhairt isteach de réir Chomhaontú Chill Rímhinn. Tá dualgas ar an Rialtas in Átha Cliath brú a chur ar Rialtas na Breataine seo a chomhlíonadh.

Chomh maith le sin, tá imní orm faoi chinntí Aire Oideachais an DUP, Peter Weir maidir le hoideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge.

Sa deisceart, á Sinn Féin ag tacú le Aire sinsir a cheapadh chuig an Rialtas a bheadh freagrach as an Ghaeilge agus an Ghaeltacht.

Chomh maith le sin, i moltaí buiséid Shinn Féin atá á sheoladh ag Pearse Doherty ar Dé Máirt, tá beartas ar fiú ceathair-deág milliún euro don Gaeilge a chur chun cinn againn.

Ina measc tá méadú cúig milliún do chiste caipitil Udarás na Gaeltachta, méadú beagnach ocht milliún do Foras na Gaeilge agus  milliún go leith do phleanáil na teanga.

Creideann Sinn Féin gur choir cearta teanga a chosaint trí tiomant a rinneadh faoi reachtaíocht ón Eoraip a chur i bhfeidhm ag leibhéal áitiúil.

Ba cheart go mbeadh an ceart ag daoine a gcuid gnó a dhéanamh trí Ghaeilge leis na Ranna Stáit agus Rialtais áitiúil.

Ba cheart go mbeadh sé de rogha ag achan duine átá ag iarraidh oideachas trí mheán na Gaeilge ón naíscoil ar aghaidh chuig oideachas iarchéime, sin a fhail gan cheist.

Cé go bhfuilimid ag leanúint ar aghaidh ag iarraidh cearta teanga a bhaint amach, is é an obair a rinne na Gaeilgeoirí dílseacha a bhain amach go leor dá bhfuil again inniu.

Sin é bunús Ghluaiseacht na Gaeilge. An meon sin “ná abair é, dean é”. Maith sibh as an obair sin. Caifhidh méid tacú leis an obair sin.