Deputy Pat the Cope Gallagher Leas-Cheann Comhairle has slammed the Agriculture Minister’s Penalty Points System for fishermen.
He has questioned the introduction of a Statutory Instrument (SI) that will give effect to the system – despite assurances that such a system would not be implemented.
Deputy Gallagher says:”As outlined in the Statutory Instrument being considered at present regardless of how a court eventually fines the fishermen the penalty points will still apply, this defies logic and is contrary to the principles of common law – whereby an individual is innocent until proven guilty and when proven innocent no penalty or sanction remain on their character, but this is not the case with the proposed penalty points being considered under Statutory Instrument by the Government at present – as it in effect would not be able to remove the penalty points once issued regardless of what a subsequent court would determine.”
He says that this “is a step backwards” from Minister Creed, and branded it “disgraceful behaviour”, especially within the context of last year’s commitments to scrap the idea.
“The penalty points system does not work – it’s unfair in its approach and contrary to common law and as such must be scrapped. I would strongly advise the Minister to consult with the sector and I will be raising the matter in the Dáil as was the case last year I will have the full support of my party in dealing with this matter,” concluded Pat the Cope.