Irish Whitefish Fleet to be downsized as EU Fishing Conference takes place in Luxembourg

June 23, 2008

The fuel crisis facing fishermen across Europe will dominate the agenda when EU fisheries ministers meet in Luxembourg later today.

Fisheries Commissioner Joe Borg is expected to outline details of a financial package agreed by the EC to help fishermen struggling due to these costs.

Ireland’s Agriculture Minister, Brendan Smith, has also promised to also seek new regulations to prevent the import of illegal and unregulated fish into the EU market.

Meanwhile, Junior Agriculture Minister Tony Killeen has approved grant aid of more than €41m for the decommissioning of a further 46 Irish fishing vessels.

Approved applicants will have until July 18th to accept the offer, which is the latest stage in the Government’s Whitefish Decommissioning Scheme.

Fishermen lodged 69 applications before the April deadline for the first phase of the scheme — with 46 of the vessels deemed to have met the criteria.

It had been anticipated as many as 75 of the older and larger whitefish vessels could be removed from the waters under the plan to make the struggling fishing sector more viable.

Under the scheme, some 46 boats over 18 metres in length and with a combined capacity of 7,590 gross tonnes — an average size of 165 gross tonnes a vessel — will be exited from the whitefish fleet over the coming weeks.

According to the Department of Agriculture and Fisheries, these vessels represent 68% of the overall removal target of 11,140 gross tonnes set for the schemes. These are in addition to the 27 whitefish boats which were “decommissioned” in 2005-2006.

The Department has given approved applicants until July 18th to accept the offer. If they do so they must surrender their licences by September 12th 2008.

The 2008 scheme, administered by Bord Iascaigh Mhara, was based on a recommendation from the Seafood Industry Strategy Review Group.



EU Defence Plans will advance the moment Lisbon is ratified

June 10, 2008

Irish Government asked for discretion on new French plans for European defence.

A “confidential” of the Barber dated from May 21st states that “the white book on defence and security, which defines the big strategical orientations of France for next fifteen years, will not be made public before June 12th”.

The plan of the White Book the parliamentarians in France can consult the copy, is classified in effect ”confidential defence “.

According to The Barber, the postponement of its public presentation has as object to avoid scaring the Irish, very tied to their neutrality, in some weeks of referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon: ” It will be ready before this date, but the Irish government, which organizes a referendum on the Treaty of Lisbon that day, asked in Paris to remain discreet. Dublin fears that the parties of the white book dedicated to the strengthening of Europe of defence nourish an antiEuropean vote and cause to fail referendum “.

It is the third time, after the reform of the European budget deferred in September and that of a report in the European Parliament on the implementation of the Treaty of Lisbon, deferred also to June, that it has been decided to be put back after the 12th June Irish referendum, “a subject which would risk awakening the attention of the only people called to pronounce on the European treaty.”

This appears to be main outcome of a confidential briefing by Daniel Mulhall, Director-General on the EU at the Irish Department of Foreign Affairs to a British diplomat Elizabeth Green.

The timing of the Irish vote (presumably mirroring a similar, though parliamentary, timetable in the UK) has been pushed forward to June 12 to avoid any inconvenient discussion over the implementation of the Treaty when France takes on the EU’s rotating presidency later this year.

“Mulhall said a date in October would have been easier from a procedural point of view. But the risk of unhelpful developments during the French Presidency – particularly related to defence – were just too great. Sarkozy was completely unpredictable,”  wrote Green.

The French will this autumn bring forward Treaty plans for increased European defence cooperation. Probably involving Germany, France, Britain, Spain, Poland and Italy (possibly with Hungary and Lithuania too), the new structured “European army” will be organised around euro-style convergence criteria such as defence spending. This is a dynamite issue in neutral Ireland, earlier moves to EU military cooperation in the Nice Treaty were blamed for a Irish referendum defeat in June 2001.

The memorandum notes (something that everyone just “knows” in Brussels), that the European Commission, and other EU institutions have a moratorium on new proposals that could spark debate – and we don’t want that, do we? Plans for an health services directive, harmonisation of corporate tax calculations, the EU’s COSI interior security committee, a job description for the new President and much, much more are all on hold – until after the summer, and ratification, are finished.

The memo is also littered (according to the extracts) with contemptuous references to the capacity of Irish people to decide on an EU Treaty that is largely incomprehensible to the lay reader”. “Most people would not have the time to study the text,” it concludes at one point.

During the French referendum, copies of the EU Constitution, a weighty and deeply dull document, became best-sellers as voters rushed to read it. Valéry Giscard D’Estaing, the Constitution’s architect, actually blamed Jacques Chirac, French President of the day, for encouraging people to pick it up. The discovery of this document was felt by many voters to be an aggression and a threat. It consolidated the negative attitude that the Constitution was too ‘complicated’, that reading it was reserved to specialists,” he wrote in Le Monde two weeks after the No vote.


(With Thanks to):……

Good Friday Newsflash from the Tara Foundation:

March 21, 2008

The mound upon which ancient Rath Lugh rests is now being sliced for the M3 Motorway.

The National Roads Authority has stated work is advancing on the M3 motorway in the area close to Rath Lugh where protestors have set up camp. Up to fifty Gardaí are said to be at the scene.

The NRA says it is putting in place what is known as a ‘box cut’, which outlines the road’s route. It is also building a quib wall and security fencing. It says the steps are being taken for health and safety reasons, and with the advice and consent of the Gardaí.

The NRA alleges that workers at Rath Lugh are being intimidated by protestors, and that a civil understanding reached with Lisa Feeney allowing for the fencing to be put in place has not been honoured. Previously the NRA had claimed that no agreement was reached with the tunnel protestor. Read the rest of this entry »

Rath Lugh Protestors Served with OPW Evictions Notices

March 20, 2008


Rath Lugh National Monument protestors are getting legal notices to quit this morning, signed and dated by the Office of Public Works. The OPW are run by the Department of the Environment, OPW Headquarters is located at 52 St. Stephen’s Green. The OPW Contact information is as follows:



Phone: 353-1-6476000
LoCall: 1890 213414
Fax: 353-1-6610747

The EU is apparently operating under the belief that works on the M3 ceased pending hearing at the Court of Justice. Read the rest of this entry »

Position Paper – 15th February 2008: Digging Machinery operating at Lismullen

February 16, 2008

Digging machinery appeared on the 6th February 2008 at the Lismullin National Monument near the Hill of Tara in Ireland as attempts began to fill in the Henge in advance of Irish and European Court decisions about the decision to demolish the Lismullen Henge. ( Read the rest of this entry »

Digging Machinery at the Lismullen Henge

February 13, 2008

According to a report published on indymedia Ireland on the 6th Febuary 2008, digging machinery has appeared at the Lismullin Henge.

A new High Court action that aims to protect the 2,000 year-old Lismullin National Monument near the Hill of Tara was taken on the 5th February 2008. The semicircular enclosure at Lismullen, about four miles south of Navan on the existing N3, lies across the northbound lane of the controversial new M3 motorway. It is 80 metres in diameter, dates from between 380BC and 520BC, and may be some kind of ceremonial site. Read the rest of this entry »

New High Court action over Lismullen National Monument

February 5, 2008

A new High Court action that aims to protect the 2,000 year-old Lismullin National Monument near the Hill of Tara is to be taken today.The semicircular enclosure at Lismullen, about four miles south of Navan on the existing N3, lies across the northbound lane of the controversial new M3 motorway. It is 80 metres in diameter, dates from between 380BC and 520BC, and may be some kind of ceremonial site. Read the rest of this entry »