Wednesday, 3 July 2019

Questions (91)

Pat the Cope Gallagher


91. Deputy Pat The Cope Gallagher asked the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the status of the ongoing talks regarding the fishing grounds surrounding Rockall; if Irish access to these waters will be guaranteed in line with decades of fishing traditions in view of the fact that successive Governments have refused to recognise foreign claims on Rockall; the extent of talks between Ireland and the European Union and the Scottish Government at present; and if he will make a statement on the matter. [28118/19]

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Written answers (Question to Agriculture)

As the Deputy states, Ireland does not recognise the United Kingdom’s claim to sovereignty over Rockall.  The waters around Rockall, including within 12 nautical miles, are part of the ICES sea area 6b, within which Irish vessels, like those of other EU Member States, have a right of access under the Common Fisheries Policy.

The Irish Government has consistently said this matter should be dealt with through diplomacy and dialogue.  In that context, a process of intense engagement is now under way, led by senior Ministers from both administrations and supported by senior officials.

Our shared aim is to resolve differences over Rockall in a way which benefits both countries, and to develop further an already strong bilateral relationship.