Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Thursday, 5 Jun 1980

Vol. 321 No. 11

Ceisteanna—Questions. Oral Answers. - Secondhand Boats.


asked the Minister for Fisheries and Forestry the reason loans for the purchase of secondhand Scottish boats are not available at present.

I understand from An Bord Iascaigh Mhara that the first priority on loan funds for the purchase of secondhand vessels is the financing of secondhand vessels which come on the home market arising out of the purchase of new vessels. Such funding absorbs the bulk of the loan finance available for the purchase of secondhand boats.

What is the position regarding the availability of secondhand Irish boats? Is there a shortage or is there a surplus?

I think that the supply and demand situations almost balance out. Obviously, when somebody buys a new boat, usually a better type one than the boat he has already, the old boat comes on the market. Generally, there are purchasers for these secondhand boats.

In the event of there being a shortage of secondhand Irish boats, would the Minister consider making the loan facility available to people wishing to buy Scottish or English boats?

I would consider such action only in the event of Irish boats not being available.

Would the Minister consider making the loan facilities available in respect of boats that are operating in Northern Ireland?

Surely this is a separate question.

I shall be contacting my counterpart in Northern Ireland at the earliest opportunity and the matter referred to by the Deputy may very well be one that we shall discuss then.

What the Minister is saying now contradicts what he said earlier.

I do not consider Northern Ireland boats to be foreign boats.

We must move on to the next question.

Would the Minister be prepared to make the loan facility available in respect of secondhand boats that come from fishermen in Northern Ireland?

I am sure that the fishermen in Northern Ireland are being looked after by the Government who are dealing with them for the time being, but if the matter outlined by the Deputy should arise, I would deal with it then.

If there is to be an embargo in respect of making the loan facilities available for boats from Scotland, is the same embargo to apply to boats from Northern Ireland?

Any money available to me would be spent best by my dealing first with the fishermen for whom we have jurisdiction. Matters concerning people outside the jurisdiction could be dealt with afterwards, if necessary.

What the Minister stated in reply to an earlier supplementary question was that he would allocate money as long as Irish boats were available. Is the Minister now saying that Northern fishermen are not Irishmen?

The question asked has been dealt with fully. The question deals with secondhand boats.

When I asked the Minister regarding secondhand Scottish boats, his reply was that so long as Irish boats were available, Scottish secondhand boats would not be considered. I am asking does that mean that boats operated by Northern Ireland fishermen are considered?

They are not considered.

Why not?

I have to consider the people who pay tax in this country and to this Government. They are the people to whom I have first responsibility.

Now the Minister is discriminating against secondhand boats operated by Irish fishermen in Northern Ireland. That is what he is doing. There are Northern Ireland fishermen being discriminated against.

I call Question No. 84.


I have called Question No. 84. The Chair must be obeyed.

I am only trying to ask a supplementary question.

Why not ask the Minister?

Deputy Harte should not start making allegations at this stage of the evening.

Against whom?

Against the Chair. Question No. 84, please.

With respect, I did not make such an allegation.

The Chair understood it as such.

I am sorry, but if the Chair looks in the mirror I am not responsible for what he sees.

Deputy Harte should not at this stage of the evening create this sort of trouble.

I am not creating it.

It is not good enough, Deputy Harte. Question No. 84.


Arising out of the previous reply, will the Irish fishermen who are looking for secondhand boats be held to ransom? The Minister should watch out for that.

I have called Question No. 84. These are all the Deputy's own questions. The Deputy has already had about seven or eight supplementary questions to the last question.

I had one supplementary question to this question. Am I a deputy spokesman on Fisheries? Does the Chair want me to kneel down and beg? I want clarification.

I have called Question No. 84. The Chair must decide what form the questions take.

Is there a democracy in this House if I may not ask the Minister a question regarding boats?

Deputy White has had every opportunity this evening to ask numerous questions. He is on his feet and will not sit down until he is called.

I have one supplementary question, one final question.

One final supplementary question, then.

When the Minister is making out an Irish fishing policy, can he give a guarantee to this House that he will include Northern Ireland fishermen as well as Southern Ireland fishermen as far as secondhand boats are concerned?

I do not think that I would be in a position to give any such guarantee.

What about fishing east of the Foyle, when we fish west of the Foyle? There are boats being interchanged. It is only right that Southern Ireland fishermen should be——

The Minister does not know about that. Irish unity is an illusion with him, a dream.

I am calling Question No. 84 Minister, please. We are making statements now.

Could the Minister not give that guarantee?

I will not give that guarantee.

So, as far as Northern Ireland is concerned, we cannot even buy Northern Ireland secondhand boats for the South, is that the position?

If you want to buy a Northern Ireland secondhand boat, nobody is stopping you from doing that. There is no obligation on this country——

What country?

It is the taxpayers of this country who are concerned.

Are you talking about a country or a state?

Question No. 84, please.

There is no obligation on the taxpayer, of this country to provide money for that purpose.


We have a partitionist Minister for Fisheries. Irish unity how are you.

Deputy Harte, please, allow Question No. 84 to proceed.