I propose to take Questions Nos. 178 and 181 together.
Question No. 159 referred to by the Deputy enquired in relation to the status of the Workplace Relations Commission (WRC) investigation into the employment of the four fishers referred to. This investigation was requested by my Department in order to inform consideration of a request by the International Transport Workers Federation (ITWF) for the initiation of civil proceedings against the alleged employers of those fishers in order to recover monies alleged to be due to those fishers.
As indicated in my reply of 15th June 2021, on foot of correspondence from the body referenced, my Department requested that the WRC initiate an investigation into this matter. The WRC produced a comprehensive report on the matter which was received to my Department in September 2020. Having investigated the facts of the particular matter against the statutory provision for civil proceedings, WRC had decided not to pursue a civil prosecution.
As the WRC is independent in its functions I cannot comment further on the specifics of its investigation including the timeline to which the Deputy refers.