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To ask the Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine the action he plans to take in relation to recent correspondence from the European Parliament Committee on Petitions regarding the 2009 report by the Ombudsman on the lost at sea scheme; and if he will make a statement on the matter.

- Mick Wallace.

For ORAL answer on Thursday, 8th May, 2014.

REPLY

 

The Minister for Agriculture, Food and the Marine: (Simon Coveney)

The Lost at Sea Scheme was introduced in June 2001 following consultation with fishing industry representative organisations. The closing date for receipt of applications was 31 December 2001.

 The sole purpose of the Scheme was to provide an opportunity to families, who lost a vessel between 1980 and 1990 to sustain or maintain a family tradition in sea-fishing. Successful applicants were awarded the capacity of the lost vessel in the form of gross tonnes and kilowatts.

As you know, the Ombudsman carried out an examination and investigation into the Lost at Sea Scheme following a complaint received. Her report into the investigation issued in 2008. The Ombudsman made a recommendation in 2009 to award compensation of €245,570 to the complainant.

Following careful consideration of the Ombudsman’s report, the Minister at the time decided that, in this case and in all the circumstances,there was no basis for payment in the amount proposed or any amount.

The Ombudsman exercised her right to submit a Special Report to this House and to the Seanad.

The Ombudsman’s Special Report has been debated in this House and in the Seanad, as well as having been analysed and considered in a series of meetings by the Joint Committee on Agriculture, Fisheries and Food.

I have recently received correspondence from the Joint Committee on Public Service Oversight and Petitions and from the Committee of Petitions of the European Parliament.

I am in the process of reviewing the issues in full and will respond appropriately in due course.

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