Updated: 02/05/18 : 06:26:21
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Ross more interested in promoting his local candidate than sorting access to Inishmurray Island - Mac Sharry

Fianna Fail TD Marc Mac Sharry has slated Minister Shane Ross following a heated exchange in Dáil Eireann in which Mac Sharry was demanding an immediate derogation on his Departments ban on visits to Inishmurray Island by former residents, descendants of residents and tourists .

Mac Sharry said “ having finally managed to secure precious time in the Dáil to raise this vitally important issue after six attempts, it is crystal clear that  Minister Ross hasn’t the slightest intention of intervening to secure continuing access to Inishmurray by Island Owners, Tourists and even officials from Sligo County Council, The Heritage Council, the OPW or Parks & Wild Life”

“Incredibly Ross was more interested in promoting his candidate for the next local and general election than providing a solution to the current illogical and prohibitive ban on Island access.  The record will show that the Minister is totally disinterested in providing a common sense interim solution by way of a temporary derogation on his departments ban.  He is simply upholding the ban and kicking it down the road indefinitely. “

“The facts are since St Molaise established the monastery on Inishmurray some 1500 years ago people have been safely navigating to and from the Island. In modern history with 102 residents at its height  people came and went from the island to the mainland even transporting cattle to market without incident. For the last  30 years’ experienced and fully insured charter operators have brought people to and from the island but on the back of Minister Ross’s Department’s action no one can land there now.”

“His department officials have taken the heavy handed approach of threatening tour operators and boat owners that Grange Gardaí have been informed and they will prosecute them if they continue with the livelihood and tradition safely in existence for generations. “

“In his response to my appeal for derogation Minister Ross cared only to kick the can down the road on Inishmurray and promote Cllr Marie Casserly, an independent Councillor associated with Ross’s de facto party. Having done so the Minister then concluded displayed his true contempt for those elected to represent this area with the incredible words  “Despite your representations I will still consider the matter." "A disgrace”

“If it was a Garda Station that didn’t need to be opened in his own constituency and wasn’t a priority for the Gardai  such as Stepaside Minister Ross is all too willing to intervene and direct operations but when it comes to something in the North West no matter its importance Mr Ross is content to sit on his hands – such is his regard for our people our tourism and in real terms even his own candidate that he seeks to promote “

“The fight will go on.”

View the Dáil debate on this link;