Egyptian fishermen did not have work permits for Ireland, Bantry Court told

August 6th, 2017 12:22 PM

By Southern Star Team

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 A DIRECTOR of a fishing company denied aiding and abetting the employment of two Egyptian fishermen who did not have the required employment permits.

The case against Liam Quinlan of Renard, Cahirciveen, Co Kerry, was heard at Bantry District Court, where Garda Kathleen O'Brien gave evidence that the two men were employed on board a vessel that was boarded at Dinish Island in Castletownbere on October 9th last.

Garda O'Brien said neither Mohamed Bihrmach nor Abdellah Tissir, two Egyptian nationals, had the required employment permit, which is typically issued by the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Employment.

She said both men were in possession of Moroccan passports and residence cards that would allow them to live in Spain.

The guard said they were working on an Irish-registered fishing vessel, owned by Skellig Fish Ltd of Renard Point, Cahirciveen – a vessel that fishes out of Castletownbere and Killybegs.

The company was also prosecuted as the employer of the two men and it was fined €1,000 on two charges of employing a non-national without a permit.

Liam Quinlan was given the benefit of the Probation Act after he outlined his circumstances in a sworn statement to Gda O'Brien.

In the statement, he acknowledged that he is a director of Skellig Fish Ltd. However, he said: ‘I have no input into the day-to-day running of the company.

‘The beneficial owners, Pilarestevez, have been made aware by me that the two Moroccans have no legal status or permission to work on an Irish vessel.

‘I don't have an income accruing from this vessel. Historically, I had a major shareholder input into this and two other vessels in the day-to-day running on the Irish side. That shareholding has significantly reduced and I have been trying to exit the company with the last 12 months.

‘The Spanish company need an Irish presence in order to keep the Irish quota attached to the trawler and for the day-to-day running with an Irish agency.

‘In the event the company loses the Irish connection, the trawler will eventually lose its Irish quota for fish catch.

‘I made the company Pilarestevez aware the Moroccans needed work permits under Irish law, but my advice has not been acted upon to date.'

In respect of Liam Quinlan, Judge Timothy Lucey said: ‘He has done all the right things. He has co-operated fully. He couldn't do any more.' He gave him the benefit of the Probation Act.

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