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Dáil Éireann díospóireacht -
Wednesday, 22 Feb 1995

Vol. 449 No. 5

Written Answers. - Fishery Officers Compensation.

Desmond J. O'Malley


51 Mr. O'Malley asked the Minister for the Marine if he will introduce legislation to provide for the payment of compensation to fishery protection officers who are assaulted and injured in the course of the duties; if he will ensure that they are paid their full wages while they are out of work due to injuries received; and his views on whether fishery officers who are injured in the course of enforcing the law are entitled to the same protection and compensation as gardaí. [1452/95]

The Fisheries Act, 1980 provides that the appointment, grading, remuneration, tenure and conditions of employment, including sick pay, of staff of the fisheries boards are governed by the terms of a staff scheme drawn up by the Central Fisheries Board following consultation with the regional boards and recognised staff associations and unions. The existing staff scheme provides for benefits, entitlements and conditions similar to those which apply to public servants in general.

The 1980 Act also provides that the central board may, following consultation and with the approval of the Minister for the Marine given with the concurrence of the Minister for Finance, amend the staff scheme. In this regard I understand that the central board and SIPTU have established a joint working group to examine the question of compensation for and benefits payable in respect of injuries suffered by staff of the fisheries boards in the course of their duties and to make recommendations accordingly.

I also understand that the report of the working group will form the basis of any proposals which the central board may make to me concerning an amendment of the staff scheme. I will, in due course, examine any such proposals and make appropriate recommendations to the Minister for Finance.
In so far as the protection of fisheries officers is concerned the Deputy may wish to know that the penalties for assaulting, obstructing or impeding fisheries officers during the course of their duties were increased under the Fisheries (Amendment) Act, 1994 thus extending to fisheries officers the same protection which is afforded to members of the Garda Síochána.