DÁIL IN COMMITTEE. - FISHERIES BILL, 1923—THIRD STAGE (RESUMED).

Section 2 ("Penalties for taking, selling, etc., Salmon or Trout during annual Close Season").
Amendment 1, in Sub-section 1, line 36, to delete the words "less than two pounds nor" (Mr. Thomas Johnson).

In putting forward this amendment, Deputy Johnson said he bulked practically all his amendments in the one. The same principle is obviously involved in all the amendments the Deputy has brought forward to the different Sections in this Bill. The principal object in this Section is the imposition of a minimum penalty. The minimum penalty actually exists in the Fishery Laws on a comparatively wide scale already, and when I brought forward this Bill I did so with the intention of tightening up, and possibly increasing, the penalties under the existing code, so as to make illegal fishing not a paying proposition. Acceptance of Deputy Johnson's amendment would mean putting matters, from the fishery point of view, worse than they are at present, because it would mean abolishing the minimum penalties that exist. I am not prepared to accept this amendment, because I believe that the minimum penalty is a necessity in the fishery law, if the law is not to be a farce. It has been found necessary to have minimum penalties in the past for various fishery offences.

Did they succeed?

If they did not succeed in putting down these offences, it was because the penalties were not enforced. In addition to fixing a minimum penalty by law, we hope, in the future, that there will be a more strict enforcement of the law. A minimum penalty is first heard of in a Fishery Act passed in the year 1848. It was passed to meet an offence such as is mentioned in Section 2 of this Bill, to which the amendment we are now dealing with, refers. The minimum penalty then imposed was 10s., and I think it is not unfair, in the present currency, to impose £2 as the minimum penalty where 10s. was imposed in 1848. Deputy Bryan Cooper referred to the fact that one of the reasons for the minimum penalty is this: That poaching is comparatively profitable, that one scoop with a net paid the very nominal fine that was normally imposed. That is quite so. Deputy McGoldrick was concerned as to whether I brought in this Bill on my own initiative, or whether it was inspired through some persons with horns, some prominent officials wishing to inflict as much injury as possible on the poor unfortunate people. I brought in the Bill as the result of many requests from many parts of the country, and I was not foolish enough naturally to bring it in without consulting prominent officials in my own Department. If that offends Deputy McGoldrick, I am afraid I will have to sacrifice his vote.

Under the existing Acts there are many minimum penalties fixed. Under a British Act passed in 1850, relating to Irish river fisheries, there are minimum penalties in about a dozen different cases. Under the bye-laws passed by the Inspectors of Fisheries in the Department of Agriculture there are fixed penalties which are tantamount to minimum penalties. This Bill, therefore, in that sense, is no departure from the existing law, and I cannot see my way to accept the amendment.

Amendment put.
The Dáil divided: Tá, 19; Níl, 57.

  • Pádraig F. Baxter.
  • Seán Buitléir.
  • David Hall.
  • Connor Hogan.
  • Tomás Mac Eoin.
  • Risteárd Mac Fheorais.
  • Pádraig Mac Fhlannchadha.
  • Risteárd Mac Liam.
  • Tomás de Nógla.
  • Tomás O Conaill.
  • Aodh O Cúlacháin.
  • Liam O Daimhín.
  • Eamon O Dubhghaill.
  • Seán O Duinnín.
  • Mícheál R. O hIfearnáin.
  • Domhnall O Mocháin.
  • Domhnall O Muirgheasa.
  • Tadhg O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (An Clár)

Níl

  • Earnán Altún.
  • Earnán de Blaghd.
  • Seoirse de Bhulbh.
  • Próinsias Bulfin.
  • Séamus de Búrca.
  • John J. Cole.
  • Bryan R. Cooper.
  • Sir James Craig.
  • Louis J. D'Alton.
  • Máighréad Ní Choileáin Bean Uí
  • Dhrisceóil.
  • Patrick J. Egan.
  • Osmond Grattan Esmonde.
  • Seán de Faoite.
  • Henry J. Finlay.
  • Desmond Fitzgerald.
  • John Good.
  • John Hennigan.
  • Seosamh Mac a' Bhrighde.
  • Alasdair Mac Cába.
  • Domhnall Mac Cárthaigh.
  • Liam T. Mac Cosgair.
  • Séamus Mac Cosgair.
  • Maolmhuire Mac Eochadha.
  • Pádraig Mac Fadáin.
  • Pádraig Mac Giollagáin.
  • Seán P. Mac Giobúin.
  • Seoirse Mac Niocaill.
  • Martin M. Nally.
  • John T. Nolan.
  • Peadar O hAodha.
  • Mícheál O hAonghusa.
  • Ailfrid O Broin.
  • Criostóir O Broin.
  • Próinsias O Cathail.
  • Aodh O Cinnéide.
  • Conchubhair O Conghaile.
  • Eoghan O Dochartaigh.
  • Séamus N. O Dóláin.
  • Peadar S. O Dubhghaill.
  • Pádraig O Dubhthaigh.
  • Eamon S. O Dúgáin.
  • Donchadh S. O Guaire.
  • Séamus O Leadáin.
  • Fionán O Loingsigh.
  • Thomas O Mahony.
  • Pádraic O Máille.
  • Séamus O Murchadha.
  • Pádraig O hOgáin (Gaillimh).
  • Patrick K. Hogan (Luimneach).
  • Ailfrid O Raithile.
  • Seán M. O Súilleabháin.
  • Andrew O'Shaughnessy.
  • Caoimhghín O hUigín.
  • Seán O Príomhdhail.
  • William A. Redmond.
  • Patrick W. Shaw.
  • Liam Thrift.
Amendment declared lost.
Amendment 2 not moved.
Question: "That Section 2 stand part of the Bill," put and agreed to.
Further amendments not moved.
Remaining Sections put and agreed to.