Sinn Féin Senator for Donegal Pádraig Mac Lochlainn has called on the Irish Government to get urgent clarification from the British Government over fishing rights for Lough Foyle.
Senator Mac Lochlainn made the call following confirmation that the British Government intends to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention that grants fishing rights to a number of countries including Ireland within the 12 mile coast around the United Kingdom as designated by the British Government.
Senator Mac Lochlainn said:
“Last year, the British Secretary of State for the Six Counties, James Brokenshire asserted that ‘the whole of Lough Foyle is within the UK’. At the time, I received assurances that the Irish Government had challenged the British Government on this arrogant and provocative assertion when I raised the matter in the Seanad with Minister Michael Creed and the Government.
“However, ownership of Lough Foyle still remains unresolved. It is disputed territory.
“Following the announcement from the British Government that they intend to withdraw from the London Fisheries Convention, this issue of the ownership of Lough Foyle now comes to the fore again.
“The London Fisheries Convention grants fishing rights to a number of countries including Ireland within the 12 mile limit around the coast of the United Kingdom as designated by the British Government.
“The British Government have essentially declared their intent to claim full fishing rights within that limit or zone for their fleet.
“As it stands then, the British Government are declaring their intent to claim full fishing rights for Lough Foyle. This cannot and will not stand. I have called on our Minister for the Marine, Michael Creed to urgently challenge the British Government on this issue and to clarify the situation”.