Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on all Irish parties in the EU to support her amendment calling for funding for Irish islands in the European Parliament tomorrow.
The Ireland South MEP made the call for cross party support for our islands ahead of tomorrow’s plenary vote on the European Maritime and Fisheries Fund.
“I am calling for all Irish political parties not just to support this amendment, which will give vital support to our struggling island communities, but to lobby their own political groups within the European Parliament to support it as well,” she said.
“My amendment would allow the EU to finance 85% of operations to the Irish islands with the Irish exchequer footing just 15% of the bill.
“Worryingly, while this amendment was accepted when I first raised it at committee level, Fianna Fail’s European group, ALDE, have now requested it be voted on separately tomorrow as they intend to oppose it.
“Post Brexit, Ireland and the Irish islands will be one of the most geographically isolated parts of the EU. Our islands will require all the support they can get and this amendment can help ensure they aren’t allowed to deteriorate further.
“Fianna Fail must speak up against their group’s decision and demand that they drop their opposition to this vital amendment. It is long past time Fianna Fail started putting their country ahead of their party.
“For ALDE or any other political group to vote against support for some of the most isolated islands and regions in the EU would be a slap in the face to the people of Ireland.
“I am making the same call to Fine Gael and their European group, the EPP, as well as to Labour and their group the S&Ds, to support this amendment protecting rural, coastal and island communities in Ireland.
“Tomorrow we will see if these parties intend to use their influence in the European Parliament to represent Ireland’s interests in Europe or are they merely Europe’s representatives in Ireland.”