Letters to the editor: Fishing scheme needed for islands before it’s too late

March 7th, 2023 12:25 PM

By Southern Star Team

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EDITOR – As an islander from Cape Clear I am saddened by the demise and depopulation of all the island communities that I have witnessed over the course of my lifetime. 

Born and raised on Cape Clear, I made my livelihood from fishing. The recent decommissioning has caused me to reflect on the support, or indeed the lack of it, shown to West Cork islands and the fishing industry, by successive Irish governments, since the beginning of the State. 

Indeed, from the late 1890s to the 1920s the British government, through Lady Coutts, funded the local fishermen to build successful fleets, complemented by the Baltimore Piscatorial School which provided training, and the foresight of Fr Davis.

While it may be late in the day, in 2023, why can’t our politicians look at our diminishing communities and introduce a sustainable fishing scheme for island and small coastal communities?

Sustainable and remote are buzzwords in today’s world – regeneration, repopulation and environmentally aware. My suggestion to the powers that be is to pilot a programme on our West Cork islands to encourage and support fishing with hooks and lines for salmon, blue fin tuna, pollack, mackerel, and allow each community a small quota to get a traditional fishing industry restarted. In the same way as it is trendy to ‘grow your own’ let’s have a marine scheme that encourages us to ‘fish your own.’

The West Cork Islands Group (WCIG) already have a governance structure in place, so it would be possible to have this pilot project monitored by WCIG. A project of this nature fits well with the West Cork Islands vision for 2040, policies ‘to support eco-friendly and sustainable ... fishing and aquaculture linked to employment.’

So, can I appeal to Patrick Murphy, our local fishing spokesperson, who has strong West Cork island connections, to carry this suggestion to Minister McConalogue and give our dwindling island populations one last chance at revival before it is too late?

Skipper Pat Con O’Driscoll,


Cape Clear island

We must acknowledge that love brings peace

EDITOR – Ladies and gentlemen, horses and mules, I’ve come here to tell you you’re all damn fools.

No one would, of course, say that in a speech. But if someone had the nerve, would it help? Would it make people stop and really think, think about what is going on, or not going on, in their world? Would the grown-ups start to comprehend that the reasons for their discontent is their own fault? 

What kind of example is being given to those approaching adulthood if they don’t see the adults getting involved, fighting for what should be a given, but has been lost in the halls of power and money.

It’s there, that world of caring. Some countries have a handle on it. However, with that in mind, how do we think we can export to others?  

If we understand it and live it, what is it we want others to understand?  How do we explain health, wealth and happiness to a country that sells their pre-teen daughters in order for the rest of the family to eat? How do we assimilate a country that beats their women for showing their hair? And there are those that are tribal, of which some are dangerous. 

Then again will we ever have a world to pass on to the next generation if we don’t pay attention to what is and is not happening in our world?

Somehow somewhere, if we could all get on board – wealth is apportioned to meet people’s basic needs. All children are cherished. All women are valued. We no longer, as countries, live in fear of one another.

There is truth abounding, so there is trust. We can acknowledge the beauty afforded us in art, music, games and nature and, perhaps to open our fist and acknowledge the love that brings peace. It is not for anyone’s God to do this.  

We are all here to find the way to bring it about. Find a purpose, work hard, show that you tried and perhaps the next generation will work harder.

Lorelie Tomko,


Call to extend eviction ban for all of our renters

EDITOR –  I read with some dismay that a landlord is asking  €2,250 a month for a two-bedroom apartment in Oliver Plunkett St in Cork city.

In my opinion this is both an excessive rent and is a typical example of a landlord taking unfair advantage of young people who are trying to live and work in our city. 

Again, in my opinion, for a double accommodation unit which carries a rent in excess of €1,300 per month, the rent in excess should attract an income tax of 70%. 

Similarly, with a one-bed unit carrying a rent over €800 per month. Furthermore, REITS (real estate investment trusts) and vulture funds should have the same income tax regime as that levied on private landlords.

Landlords of properties on our streets which are unoccupied on the upperfloors should be given conversion incentives and in the absence of landlord co-operation, the local council should be empowered to take possession of unoccupied space, not by compulsory purchase order, but following the Dutch cities model.

Contrary to Minister Martin’s opinion, the stay on eviction notices should be extended until our government is in a position to provide social and affordable houses for our citizens. 

Landlords only exit the property market when there is a significant uplift in attainable house prices, provided they have another form of investment for that exit money. 

Daniel Teegan, 

Union Hall. 

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