Léim ar aghaidh chuig an bpríomhábhar

Maritime Jurisdiction

Dáil Éireann Debate, Wednesday - 10 March 2021

Wednesday, 10 March 2021

Ceisteanna (444)

Pádraig MacLochlainn


444. Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn asked the Minister for Foreign Affairs the progress that has been made in discussions with the UK Government to resolve the conflict over the right of Irish fishing vessels to fish in the waters around Rockall. [13349/21]

Amharc ar fhreagra

Freagraí scríofa (Ceist ar Foreign)

I remain in contact with my colleague, the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine, on Rockall. We, along with our respective officials, are working through consideration of all options for further engagement on the issues involved.

I have outlined Ireland's position on Rockall in contacts with both the UK and Scottish Governments in the last number of months. In my engagements, I have made clear the Government's position, which is consistent, and remains as has been clearly set out by successive Governments.

I spoke with my Scottish counterpart, Cabinet Secretary for the Constitution, Europe and External Affairs, Mike Russell, on 14 January 2021, when this matter was raised. We agreed to keep in contact on the issue. Irish and Scottish officials have been in touch in the period since that call.

This contact and broader efforts will continue in the coming weeks. Irish officials also remain in ongoing contact with the European Commission on all matters relating to the EU-UK Trade and Cooperation Agreement, including fisheries.

Through the range of engagements set out, the Government is seeking to address the issues involved, reflecting the longstanding fisheries tradition in the area.

Ireland has never made any claims to Rockall, which is a small uninhabitable granite rock located approximately 160 nautical miles west of the Scottish islands of St. Kilda and some 230 nautical miles to the north-west of Donegal. Nor has Ireland ever recognised British sovereignty claims over Rockall, and accordingly has not recognised a 12 nautical mile territorial sea around it either.