Fianna Fáil MEP candidate for Midlands North West Brendan Smith TD says he will push the agenda of Irish fishing interests and coastal communities in Europe. He was speaking following a meeting with the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO), which he attended alongside Pat the Cope Gallagher TD.

“I have taken on board the genuine concerns from the representatives of the fishing sector and the growing unease there is with the European Union in terms of how the fishing sector is managed. There are massive concerns surrounding the failure of the United Kingdom to agree an orderly exit from the EU and the possible knock on consequences for the Irish Fleet accessing UK waters”, said Deputy Smith.

“I am determined that Irish interests will be protected in any reformed EU Common Fisheries Policy. Securing a level playing field for all fishing activities in Irish controlled waters and introducing a more flexible and proportionate approach to inspections is vital to the future of the sector. I will operate an open-door policy for the sector in relation to all European matters and will be a strong advocate for fisheries.

“Minister Creed has failed to stand up for families and communities in the fishing sector and this approach needs to be challenged at a European level so that we can secure the best possible deal for our fishing industry. I will be a strong and committed voice for fishing families and push for better supports for these communities”, concluded Deputy Smith.