Irish navy impounds British vessels

Northern Ireland fishing boats seized by Irish navy

The two vessels have been impounded by the Irish navy.

Thursday, February 28, 2019

Two UK boats have been seized by the Irish Navy for allegedly breaching fishing regulations.

A Garda spokesman confirmed the Northern Ireland-registered vessels have been impounded at Clogherhead port in County Louth.

This is the latest development in an ongoing impasse following the collapse of an informal deal between the UK and Irish government to allow reciprocal fishing rights.

 

Speaking in the Commons DUP MP Jim Shannon said: “The fishing boats were very clearly British fishing boats, they were illegally seized in waters that are disputed, waters that belong to this great nation, this British nation.”

The Voisinage agreement, dating back to the 1960s, had previously allowed vessels from Northern Ireland to fish in Irish inshore waters and vice versa.

However the agreement fell apart after it was challenged by Irish fishermen in the country’s Supreme Court in 2016.

Although Dublin pledged to introduce legislation to give legal effect to the agreement, this has not yet materialised and Northern Ireland boats are effectively banned from fishing in Irish waters.

The UK continues to honour Voisinage however, meaning Irish fisherman are able to fish in Northern Ireland waters.