Cross-party support needed for Heritage Licence Bill

A Donegal Deputy is calling for cross-party backing as the Heritage Licence Bill is due before the Dail next week.

The legislation aims to ensure that island based fishing communities have their rights to practice long established traditional fishing methods and practices protected and recognised in law.

Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty visited Tory Island yesterday where he met with local fishermen ahead of the Heritage Licence Bill which has been selected for second stage, will come before the Dail next Thursday.

The Bill launched in July on Arranmore Island, if passed will recognise island based fishing communities.

Deputy Doherty says failure of successive governments to stand up for island communities has meant they have been unable to make a living as existing Common Fisheries Policy rules prevent them from fishing their own coastal waters.

If the new Bill is enacted a dedicated quota will be allocated to the islands.