Coveney refusing to reconsider ombudsman’s Lost at Sea recommendation

lostatsea

The Sunday Times is reporting today that outgoing Agriculture and Marine Minister Simon Coveney continues to stand over the decision not to pay €245,000 in compensation to the Byrne family from Donegal under the Lost at Sea scheme despite an ombudsman's recommendation that it be paid.

The Skifjord sank in 1981, with the loss of skipper Francis Byrne, his 16 year old son Jimmy and three crew members.

The Byrne family was denied compensation under the Lost at Sea scheme in 2001 because their application was late, and the ombudsman's recommendation to pay was rejected by the Oireachtas Agriculture and Fisheries Committee in 2010, amid claims of political interference.

Simon Coveney, who becamse minister in 2011 reportedly told the family he was waiting on a recommendation from the Attorney General, but in December, responding to a query from Deputy Joe Mc Hugh, the Attoreney General Marie Whelan said it was a matter for Mr Coveney's department.

Responding to queries from the paper, the department reiterated the 2010 decision, and said it had no further comment to make.