Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty has called on the government to do more to protect and develop Ireland’s off-shore islands.
The Donegal TD used the return of the Dáil to urge policy makers to recognise the cultural and linguistic importance of the islands, and to take measures which aim to promote island communities and to development their sustainability into the future.
Speaking ahead of a Dáil debate, Deputy Doherty said: “For far too long many of Donegal’s off-shore islands, such as Arranmore, Tory Island, Gola, Inishfree, and Inishboffin and others have been abandoned by successive governments.
“They have suffered decades of population decline due to underinvestment, lack of services and policy failure in areas such as fishing which once provided much needed employment on the islands.
“This is why my colleague Deputy Martin Kenny and I introduced the Island Fisheries (Heritage Licence) Bill in 2017. This legislation is currently making its way through the Dáil and, if enacted, will provide for the issuing of heritage licences to island fishermen to facilitate the continuance of traditional fishing practices on Ireland’s offshore islands.”
Deputy Doherty called on the Government and all TDs to support the motion, which also seeks the development of unique policies for offshore islands as well as an action plan for measures to ensure that island’s can reach their full economic potential.