MEP Kelleher campaigns in West Cork - visits Bere Islandand meets with local communities

Published on: 14 May 2024

“There is something magical about West Cork,” said Fianna Fáil MEP Billy Kelleher after a three-day campaign swing through the area.

Kelleher, an MEP for Ireland South, which covers Munster and the four southern counties of Leinster, was commenting after campaign stops in Castletownbere, Adrigole, Bere Island, Skibbereen and Bantry with local party councillors and TD Christopher O’Sullivan.

“Coming down West is always a real pleasure, and it’s wonderful to be able to represent the people and communities of West Cork in the European Parliament. “These communities are as European as any capital city on the continent. While they are peripheral, their membership of the EU is vitally important to their development and prosperity.

“There is no doubt that Brexit significantly damaged the local fishing industry. Since my election, I have spoken out about the need for two things: 1. Increased quotas for the Irish fleet and 2. The ability of Ireland to receive additional quotas from other countries’ uncaught quota, also known as quota swapping.

“As an MEP, I don’t have a vote on these issues. They are solely a matter for Member State governments to negotiate between themselves. Candidates for the European Parliament claiming that they themselves can increase quota allocations are being disingenuous.

“Other issues that were raised with me were connectivity for the island community on Bere, investment in community facilities especially for people with special needs, and investment in roads and laneways.

“The elections on June 7th are incredibly important for Ireland and for West Cork. The European Parliament legislates on issues that affect all of our daily lives. I believe I’ve been a strong voice for Ireland and I want to continue to stand up for Irish interests and for European values,” concluded Kelleher.