Tá Netherlands ag rá nach bhfuil siad réidh ar bith do sin, ach má an Netherlands sa chómhrá cad faoi Éire? Where are we in this? Should we worry about an EU army?
It’s worrying enough to know that the single largest border shift in recent European history is about to happen, and that this is hidden in deep uncertainty. Border shifts are bad at the best of times, but whether one involving England and it’s 3 best enemies (France (enemies for everything before WW1/2), Germany (enemies for WW1/2) and Spain (wants Gibraltar back, always enemies)) can be achieved without some fisticuffs is anyone’s guess; and two of those three are talking about an EU army again.
But at least now they’re all part of NATO. So, as long as there isn’t a Russian-selected President in the US, and a super-smart chess-playing ex-KGB guy determined to destabilise NATO in the Kremlin all will be fine. Won’t it?
But, all that should matter to us is our island.
Caithfaimíd bheith cinnte go mbeidh ár oileán slán.
Cé nach bhfuil seans ann go dtiocfaidh sí orainn ró gcásta tar éis Brexit, fós tá seans níos mó as seo amach go mbeidh cogadh arís idir an Bhreatain agus a comharsanna ar an mór-roinn.
Caithfimíd siúl géarr a gcoimeád ar áon socrú ag teacht amach as Brexit a bhfuil seans – cé chomh beag an seans sin – go cuirfidh an socrú sinn aon limistéar orainn ag coimeád an oileán slán, nó an bhfarraige timpeall í bheith mar an céad líne cosaint duinn.
Cllr Martin Browne of Sinn Féin Tipperary has welcomed Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada to County Tipperary to talk with representatives of the Angling community. Following her visit, MEP Ní Riada has said that the potential of the River Suir to support the development of angling tourism has yet to be fully realised. She made the comments following a visit to Golden this week.
Liadh Ní Riada said: “Golden is a beautiful village in an area of outstanding scenery. Its location close to Cashel and its proximity to the main Dublin – Cork motorway mean that it is accessible for domestic and foreign tourists alike.”
“As a member of the European Parliament Committee on Fisheries I have taken a keen interest in the potential for the further development of angling as both a sport and a lure for tourism.”
“Rural Ireland is crying out for investment and for job opportunities. The development of sustainable tourism, based on our greatest natural assets, would be a fantastic boon for rural communities, not least here in Co. Tipperary.”
“I will continue to work alongside Cllr. Martin Browne and with all stakeholders to work towards a sustainable, clean and vibrant tourism offering for anglers that benefits the community and rural economy.”
Cllr Martin Browne adds: “In one of the most historic and one of the most beautiful counties in Ireland, we have a significant opportunity in terms of a unique angling experience. The potential of tourism has never been doubted, and I compliment the members of Cashel/Golden Anglers Association on their work. We received a short tour from Owen Jackman who is Secretary of the Association and were impressed with the commitment of the Association to maintaining the environment.”
“The potential for employment in any environmentally friendly tourism industry should not be overlooked.”
There will be a public meeting held on Thursday next, 2nd March, in the Park Hotel, Clonmel at 20:00.
The meeting is organised by Dermot O’Leary of the NBRU to discuss the proposed closure of the Bus Éireann service between Dublin and Clonmel.
Councillors, TD’s, and the public are welcome.
It is hoped that Labour Councillor Maurice Shorthall will attend, and outline the unfortunate experiences of Castlecomer, Co Kilkenny, when their service was curtailed. A director of Bus Éireann is also expected to attend.
Speaking in Leinster House today, Sinn Féin’s Agriculture spokesperson, Martin Kenny TD, has said that the measures introduced by Minister Michael Creed on the National Reserve were welcome, but do not go far enough.
Deputy Kenny said:
“While I am glad that, at last, the Minister has done something to help young farmers and new entrants to farming for 2017, after leaving them in the lurch last year, these measures do not go far enough to resolve the situation.
“However, €5 million is not enough to deal with the backlog of young farmers who have completed or who are now trying to complete green cert training and who will be seeking entitlements soon.”
Sinn Féin MEP, Liadh Ní Riada, has facilitated a meeting between Irish fishermen and the group that advises the European Commission on stock sustainability.
The Ireland South MEP brought together representatives from the Irish South and West Fish Producer’s Organisation (ISWFPO) and the International Council for the Exploration of the Sea (ICES) to discuss a range of issues.
Ms Ní Riada said the meeting had been “constructive” but “raised a number of questions”.
Ms Ní Riada stated:
“The ISWFPO raised the issue of landing obligations with ICES who clarified that there was no scientific advice given by them on the landing obligation, that there was none requested and consequently it could be established that there was no scientific basis for the landing obligation.
“This begs the question of what was the basis for the landing obligation rule was. Was it politically motivated by the powers that be? The ISWFPO made clear their members feel it is a recipe for disaster.
“The impact of seismic surveys on spawning stocks and larvae was also raised, particularly in reference to the effects of large scale seismic survey operations in all waters on fish stocks, as evidence has suggested it is having a detrimental effect.
“The scientific and ecological impact of illegal, unreported and unregulated fishing by supertrawlers was also a major concern, especially regarding by-catch and over-catch.
“A discussion was also had on the value of Irish fishermen being given a scientific quota by Irish national authorities so that scientific data can be collected by Irish fishermen. This is then used with anecdotal evidence to evaluate the health of various stocks and to make a stronger case for larger quotas for Irish fishermen.
“All in all it was a constructive and revealing meeting. The very fact I was able to facilitate it is an improvement in itself as the intention was to give Irish fishermen, particularly the small-scale, inshore fleet and coastal communities, a direct line of communication with this international scientific body.
“This influential group is now well aware that Irish fishermen often feel excluded from the decision making process whilst the wealthy fishing cartels, who have most to gain and lose from the advice ICES gives to the EU, are often involved in every aspect of the process.
“Hopefully this is the beginning of a change in that unhealthy culture.”
Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has said the government must act on super trawlers.
Liadh has called for the Navy and the Sea-Fisheries Protection Authority (SFPA) to “aggressively monitor” the ships as yet another of the colossal vessels made its way into Irish waters this week.“Yesterday yet another super trawler was discovered in Irish waters. The Dirk Dirk is now fishing off the coast of Donegal, which was ravaged by the Margiris, the second largest trawler in the world, as recently as December.
“Right now, according to vessel watching groups, there are at least three of these super trawlers in Irish waters.
“The dangers they pose and the damage they do cannot be overstated.
“Every year the foreign super trawler fleets moves to the coasts of Ireland when our own fleet is docked and fish well into the summer. They put fishermen´s gear at risk by towing and destroying them, an act which has a particularly damaging effect on crab and lobster pots. They are devastating the Irish fishing industry through their disregard for quotas and the huge number of dead fish they illegally dump back into our waters.
“The environmental damage they wreak is immense. They are capable of processing as much as 250 tonnes of fish per day, killing countless dolphins, whales, sharks and other marine life that get caught in their massive nets.
“They are of no benefit whatsoever to the our coastal areas as none of the fish are landed here. The fish are caught, processed and remain on-board before being landed back on the continent.
“This is becoming an annual occurrence. The SFPA and government say they cannot do anything but it’s a question of political will.
“I am once again calling for continuous and rigorous inspections of these ships while they are here to ensure they are complying with the very letter of the law. The SFPA has no problem aggressively monitoring Irish vessels and I would like to see them direct that diligence at these industry destroying behemoths.
“There should also be a redress scheme for Irish fishermen whose gear and equipment has been destroyed or damaged. If the Irish Government is not willing to face these trawlers down the least they can do is support the coastal communities they are damaging.”
Speaking at the Brexit Civic Dialogue on Energy, Sinn Fèin spokesperson on Energy, Brian Stanley spoke on the need for Ireland to move towards renewable energy independence and develop a total, single energy market.
Deputy Stanley stated;
“An impending hard brexit has huge implications for the costs and security of supply of energy in Ireland, both north and south.
“There is an impetus now on the government to accelerate the development of an all-island single energy market, incorporating gas, oil, solid fuels and renewables.
“Removing tariffs within the island and developing single regulations, taxation and carbon tax models will deliver a more efficient and affordable energy market for our citizens.
“There is also a need to improve our energy independence in the wake of brexit.
“Ireland is now in a vulnerable position with 88% of our energy dependent on imports and relying on an interconnector which will now pass through a non EU country. Our renewable energy potential needs further development to secure our energy needs and help us towards transition to a low carbon economy in order to meet our climate action targets.”
Department officials to be brought before the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee
Sinn Féin’s Agriculture Spokesperson in the Seanad, Senator Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has again called on the Minister for Agriculture to intervene and resolve the serious delays in payments under the GLAS agri-environmental scheme to over 9,000 farmers across the State.
Senator Mac Lochlainn, who serves on the Oireachtas Agriculture Committee has again raised the crisis in the Seanad and he confirmed that senior officials in the Department of Agriculture will be brought before the committee next week to answer for the delays.
“These farmers have been waiting since last October for the payments that they are entitled to. They have honoured their side of the deal in terms of complying with the environmental management criteria of the scheme and it is long past time for the Department of Agriculture to honour their side.
Over 9,000 farmers across the State have not received their payments owed. The average amount owed is €4,000. This is a serious amount of money for small farmers already struggling to stay on the land.
Over recent years, a Charter of Rights has been agreed between farmers and the Department of Agriculture. These delays in payments have broken the spirit and intent of that charter”.
“I am again calling on Minister Creed to intervene and sort this mess out. And when this is finally sorted out, the lessons have to be learned and assurances given to farmers that this will not happen again”.
Dúirt an Teachta Peadar Tóibín go raibh an cinneadh chun fáil réidh leis an riachtanas Gaeilge dóibh siúd atá ag lorg post sinsearach i leabharlanna poiblí an-díomách ar fad. Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín gurb é seo an dara h-ionsaí ar sheirbhísí leabharlanna le cúpla mí anuas le teacht isteach na scéime ‘leabharlanna gan foirne’.
Dúirt an Teachta Tóibín: “Ba mhór an díomá a chloisteáil go raibh an riachtanas Gaeilge le baint agus leabharlannaithe sinsearacha nua á fhostú. Céim siar mhór atá ann – seo an riachtanas deireanach a bhí ann maidir le fostóirí dhátheangacha a earcú sa státchóras. Is laghdú eile é ar na seirbhísí do Ghaeilgeoirí agus lucht foghlamtha Gaeilge mórthimpeall na tíre.
“In an-chuid ceantar sa tír is iad na leabharlannaithe sinsearaigh a ghlacann cúramaí an Oifigigh Gaeilge chucu féin sna comhairlí. Ní ról lán-aimseartha é i gceantair áirithe. Míníonn na rialacha nua a tháinig isteach, go bhfuil an baol ann nach mbeidh comhairlí in ann a gcuid dualgaisí Gaeilge a chomhlíonadh mar is cóir, toisc nach mbeidh siad in ann teacht ar na hoifigigh páirtaimseartha seo.
“Leanann na rialacha seo an scéim nua atá curtha chun cinn ag an rialtas le ‘leabharlanna gan foirne’ a chur ar fáil. Díoltar dúinn é mar rud forásach – ach i ndáiríre caitheann sé anuas ar ról tábhachtach leabharlannaithe mar gheatóirí eolais agus mar chuiditheoirí léinn.
“Feictear dúinn anois go bhfuil gach seans ann nach mbeidh duine cuí i bhfeighil ar na leabharlanna le linn an deireadh seachtain, nó duine ar bith ar fáil agus Gaeilge acu i rith na seachtaine. Seo buille eile don Ghaeilge agus do sheirbhísí poiblí.
“Tá ról lárnach ag leabharlanna i saol an phobail – ní áit iad le leabhair a sholáthar amháin – ach spás poiblí inar féidir leachtanna agus taispeántais a chur ar fáil agus eolas a roinnt. Níl aon amhras ach go gcuirfidh cinneadh chun fáil réidh leis an riachtanas Gaeilge bac ar an Straitéis 20 Bliain a bhaint amach.
“Táimid buartha freisin maidir le leabharlanna Gaeltachta agus na dualgais teanga seo bainte ó na leabharlannaithe nua-earcaithe. Táim ag impí ar an Aire an cinneadh seo a chúlú láithreach.”
Another attack on the Irish language by the government – Peadar Tóibín TD
Sinn Féin’s Peadar Tóibín TD has said that the decision to get rid of the Irish language requirement for senior librarians was very disappointing indeed. Teachta Tóibín said that this was the second attack on library services in the past few months following on from the introduction of ‘staffless libraries’.
An Teachta Tóibín said: “I was very disappointed to hear that the Irish language requirement for senior librarians was being removed. This is a big step backwards – this was the last Irish language provision in the recruitment of employees in the state system. It marks a deterioration in the services for Irish speakers and Irish language learners throughout the country.
“In many districts in this state, it is senior librarians that accept the responsibilities of Irish Language Officer in their council. Regrettably, this is not a full time role in certain parts of the country. There is now a danger that councils will not be able to adequately fulfil their duties with the introduction of these new rules, as they will not be able to find suitable part-time officers.
“These rules follow-on from the ‘staffless libraries’ scheme as recently introduced by the government. This has been sold to us as a progressive measure – but in reality it diminishes the importance of the librarian’s role as gatekeeper of knowledge and enabler of learning.
“It appears that there is every chance now that there won’t be an appropriate person in charge of libraries during the weekends – and no-one with Irish available during the week. This is another knock for Irish and for public services.
“Libraries have a central role in civic life – they do not exist for the provision of books alone – but they act a public space in which lectures are given, exhibitions displayed, and information shared. There is no doubt but that the decision to get rid of this Irish language requirement will hinder the ability to achieve the aims of the ’20 Year Strategy.
“We are also concerned about libraries in the Gaeltacht as to whether Irish language requirements have been removed from the recruitment of librarians. I’m asking the Minister to reverse his decision with immediate effect.” CRÍOCH
Sinn MEP Liadh Ní Riada was in Nenagh, Co. Tipperary on Friday to meet the River Shannon Protection Alliance group along with Cllr Séamie Morris. Liadh heard first hand from people who have been affected by the lowering water levels on Lough Derg among many other issues. Liadh agrees that Lough Derg is vital for the tourism prospects in the region for the future and as an economic asset for the Mid West region.
Irish Water’s preferred proposition at present is to use water from Lough Derg via a major pipe construction to supply Dublin and surrounding areas.
Irish Water have begun a public consultation process that will last until Feb 14th 2017. Councillor Morris is calling on people who feel strongly about this issue to contact him, get involved in local campaign groups, or lodge their own submission.
“We already have problems arising in the Irish mushroom sector, because of the significant weakening of Sterling against the Euro over recent weeks, with plants closing down, as a result of Brexit concerns.”
“Brexit is an all-island issue. So, I expect MEPs from all over Ireland to support the setting up of a Brexit working group for agriculture.
“In my opinion farming and food in Tipperary are the industries that have most to lose from Brexit.”
Liadh is also concerned about rural Tipperary, A European Commission report into the Cumulative Effects of Trade Agreements which was published today proved again that deals like CETA & TTIP will have devastating consequences for agriculture.
Now Irish MEPs (Fine Gael, in particular) have a choice to make in advance of the European Parliament vote on CETA, due to take place in December.
They can either support Irish farmers or they can support regressive trade deals such as CETA & TTIP, but they can’t support both.
2015-06-19: Cllr Séamie Morris (Sinn Féin), MEP Liadh Ní Riada (Sinn Féin) and Declan Collisson (Shannon Protection Alliance) outside The Lake Café.