Deasy claims fishing corruption is "rife"

 

POLITICIANS and senior Garda officers who turned a blind eye to corruption should face charges, a Fine Gael backbencher said. Mr Austin Deasy (Waterford) was speaking on a motion to appoint a commissioner to replace the Southern Fisheries Board.

Some people would have given evidence about the board in recent years but did not do so, because they believed prosecutions would not be pursued. It was "the culture of the old pals' act".

A series of people should be charged. "Some of them are political figures and some are in high positions in the Garda Siochana. They were made aware of corrupt activities and did not bother to investigate them." It was well known among the fishing fraternity that corruption had been rife for the last 10 to 15 years, he said.

Mr Des O'Malley (PD, Limerick East) said two officers of the board had been charged and had appeared in court. They were suspended by the board, but continued to be on full pay.

He called on the Minister to review, the structure of fisheries administration.

The motion was introduced by the Minister of State for the Marine, Mr Eamon Gilmore, who said two officers of the Southern Fisheries Board were before the courts on charges under the Prevention of Corruption Act.

The allegations required a response which did not occur.