Cllr Anthony Kelly has welcomed the announcement that funding will be made available by the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine to help fishing communities like Kilmore Quay recover from the recent storms. The Sinn Féin Councillor stressed however that much more support was needed and that communities like Kilmore Quay had been on their knees long before the first winds blew this year.
“We welcome the release of emergency funding for coastal communities who have been battered by the recent storms,” Cllr Kelly said, “But this funding will not cover the full extent of the losses of equipment and damage to vessels and tackle. It will not cover the loss of at least six full weeks of work due to adverse weather. It will not cover the cost of having to pay in advance to move vessels to safe ground in the middle of a storm. It will not make up for years of neglect.”
“In the immediate future we will be pushing that the Minister makes pay outs from this scheme prompt and simple, with a scale back on paperwork in the circumstances. We will also urge the Department to prepare a further emergency package as we have not seen the last storm of the season. In the long term, Sinn Féin will continue to work with communities like Kilmore Quay and strive to end the state criminalisation and systematic neglect of our fishing fleets.”