A VIDEO that purports to show the disparity between the way Irish and foreign trawlers are treated has gone viral.
Finbarr Harrington, who is standing as an independent candidate in the upcoming local elections, posted the video he took on Dinish Pier on March 29th last and, so far, it has been viewed more than 425,000 times.
The five-minute video – which has been shared 5,233 times – shows inspectors going through the catch that was landed by an Irish trawler, while, nearby, the crews of Spanish trawlers appear relaxed while loading their catches and stacking them in refrigerated trucks bound for the Continent.
Almost 2,500 people have ‘liked’ – or indeed ‘not liked’ – the video and the number of comments is close to 1,100.
One man, Patrick Dunne, who supported Mr Harrington’s claim that the system is unfairly stacked against Irish trawlers, posted a comment saying: ‘This is unbelievable and unacceptable.
‘Are we ever going to wake up to the fact that the very people we elected to run the country have given it away to the EU right under our noses?
Madeline O’Keeffe suggested on Facebook that there is ‘only one answer for this: do what the French do: (put a) blockade on all Irish fishing ports. Politicians will soon listen.’ Justin Cremin made a comment saying that Finbarr Harrington was ‘right to point out the blatant abuse of the Irish fishing territory for foreign boats and the subsequent ignoring of Irish laws on foreign vessels …’
In his own post – which he marked ‘sad and disturbing’ – Mr Harrington’s claimed that 25 Spanish articulated trucks had left Dinish Island ‘full of fish’ in the previous 24 hours.
He said: ‘I was told that not one Spanish boat or truck was inspected by anyone, yet when local fishing boats land their catch, they are scrutinised like criminals.’
He described the examination of the boat featured in the video as being ‘like a post-mortem.Meanwhile, 10ft away,’ he said, ‘the Spanish fishermen waved to us and laughed at us as they put all their catch straight into the back of a lorry.’
Mr Harrington said it is ‘wrong to treat our own fishermen like criminals and to operate a two-tier system of quota management and regulation.’
He recommended that the number of foreign vessels fishing in Irish territorial waters should be monitored more effectively; and that the tonnage of fish being landed by them should be accurately recorded.