Minister for the Marine Michael Creed has appealed to a mussel fisherman not to continue the hunger strike he began in protest over legislation to restore access to Irish waters for Northern Ireland fishing vessels.
Gerard Kelly, who began his ‘fast for fish’ hunger strike outside the Dáil on Tuesday, was one of four mussel fishermen to take a successful Supreme Court case against an informal agreement between the Republic and Northern Ireland which allowed access by each side to the 6 mile inshore fishing zone.
In 2016 the Supreme Court ruled there was no legal entitlement for fishermen from the North to fish in that zone. Legislation introduced to restore that right goes to the Dáil today.
Wexford mussel fisherman Michael Crowley was also involved in that Supreme Court case.
He says that aggressive and unsympathetic’ fishing by NI vessels has caused a loss of a sustainable Irish mussel industry which could have employed hundreds of people.