West Cork fishermen took on the Russians and won, but the war isn’t over yet, says independent Cllr Paul Hayes
What did you think of the fishermen making the Russians change their mind?
I have to commend the Irish fishermen for their stance in relation to the proposed military drills in the Irish Exclusive Economic Zone.
They rightly made their case for the welfare of vital spawning grounds and forced the hands of Irish and Russian diplomats to resolve the situation. I’m also very happy that their campaign has shone a spotlight on the fishing industry and the hardships they face.
Ultimately I hope this will lead to an Irish Government negotiating for better conditions and fairer quotas that would allow this sustainable indigenous industry to become viable for future generations of Irish fishers.
Do you think Russia will invade Ukraine?
I don’t envisage an all-out invasion of the Ukraine by Russia but there is certainly a worrying increase of military personnel along its border.
Russia is worried about an expansion of Nato into Eastern Europe, and a potential loss of influence over former Soviet states, so I think all of this manoeuvring is a case of Russia flexing its muscle in the hope that the west, and existing Nato countries, will slow or cease its drive eastwards.
What can a normal citizen do about it?
It would be a very worrying development if war was to break out in the Ukraine.
Not only the obvious loss of life and destruction, but also the ramifications for Irish exports to the region, and the cost of oil and gas would continue to rise, as we’ve seen it has since this situation escalated.
Personally, I’d advise people to keep the pressure on our Government representatives and MEPs, to use their influence in Europe and in the international community to find a diplomatic resolution to this.