Thomas Pringle focused on the EU role in the decline of fishing communities in his remarks following European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen’s address to a joint sitting of the Houses of the Oireachtas.
Addressing the joint sitting today, the Independent TD for Donegal said: “Today’s meeting has been organised to celebrate, supposedly, 50 years of our membership of the European Union and I’d like to welcome President von der Leyen here for this discussion.
“But as a representative of a fishing community in Ireland, I think it is a sad commemoration because that was the start of the decline of our fishing communities. And with a combination of government incompetence and the European Union that actually took advantage of that, we have seen the decline of fishing right across the board,” he said.
Deputy Pringle also expressed solidarity with members who spoke of the housing crisis Ireland faces, saying, “The EU has a sad role in relation to that as well, and it has been amply aided by our government in this country.”
Deputy Pringle added: “In 1972, Ireland was also a proud, neutral, unaligned country. And I note that you have said that Europe was once a peace project, and I think that was probably telling, saying that it was once a peace project.
“Because again, with a willing government, the EU will get rid of our neutrality and that is something that we should regret in this country and that is something that every political member should oppose to ensure that we maintain what has been a proud tradition and a tradition that we should all be very proud of, and that will send a message to Europe and to the world that neutrality is the way forward,” he said.