Fianna Fáil TD for Cork South West Margaret Murphy O’Mahony has called on the government to ensure that dedicated funding is set aside for the seafood and fishing industry to help protect it from a hard Brexit.

Deputy Murphy O’Mahony explained, “There has been much talk that this Budget will see funding set aside for certain sectors, such as the beef and agri-food sectors to protect them from the impact of Brexit. I believe the seafood and fishing industry should also be included in any such package as they will be severely affected by either a hard or a no-deal Brexit.

“This government has failed to fully recognise the seafood and fishing sector, and there appears to be very little contingency planning undertaken to protect it from the Brexit fallout.

“Areas in West Cork such as Baltimore, Beara and Kinsale are hugely reliant on fishing. In fact, the local economy is intrinsically linked with the seafood and fishing sector. A budget package is needed to ensure that the industry can withstand any Brexit shocks.

“We have an obligation to protect the sector. 60% of mackerel and 40% of nephrops are caught within UK waters, and a no-deal Brexit will have huge consequences for the Irish fishing industry.

“The government must protect this sector. I am calling on the Minister to ensure that a mitigation fund is included in the upcoming Budget to bolster the seafood and fishing community in West Cork from the Brexit fallout”, concluded Deputy Margaret O’Mahony.