Thursday, 29 April 2021
National Marine Planning Framework: Motion
This is shameful. It is interesting that this went through the Seanad without debate yet we had a Business Committee meeting this morning and they want more sitting time and to sit the days we are sitting. They are sitting in our Chamber and they are kicking up míle murder. There is a meeting this evening to try to sort it out. Yet none of them saw fit to discuss this vital issue.
Some 75% of our population live adjacent to the sea and it is so important to us. This comes after what happened with the Brexit talks, when we and the whole fishing industry found out and the Minister, Deputy McConalogue, was badly caught out. He did not even open his mouth during the fishing debate when our fishermen were being wiped away. That was our sea fishing but this is coastal fishing, and they will be wiped out too.
What kind of fear or euthanasia has the Government got for big business? It is all about multiples. We are having the climate change Bill again. Data centres do not have to pay anything for carbon tax but screw Johnny, Mary and everybody else sitting in their houses and do not allow them to burn turf or eke a living from the land. The Government is infatuated with big business. Has it not found out from the housing crisis, the mess of the developers and what went on with big banks and is still going on? Now we see the exodus of banks from our country. The Government is grovelling to them. It might as well close down the Dáil and hand it over to big developers to plunder again. To hell or to Connacht. The fishermen now can be pushed aside and discarded as well as much of our rich heritage, marine culture and marine life in the middle of a climate change Bill. The Government wants to slip it through in a peep o' day job in the middle of the night with no debate. Then it gave us five minutes and we got a lecture yesterday morning from the Taoiseach. I got a double lecture. He had the audacity to say this has been going on so long, it has to be done and get it over with. He is some man to talk. He talks about protestors and he was shouting last year for protests to go ahead in Belarus during the pandemic and then he made sure that taxi drivers cannot even get out of their cars to breathe.
This is a totalitarian state now and nothing else. It looks like one, walks like one and is one. The Government should be ashamed. I cannot get over the Green Party's involvement in this. I understand Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael. They have given up any sense of respect for our 1916 leaders and our War of Independence people. Why do we not close it up, hand it over to big business altogether and forget about our people? The Government has no interest in the people and does not care or respect them.