‘It’s Ours We Put A Flag On It’ – Irish Fishermen say ‘Feck Off’!

Rockall is on the news again! There was an exchange in Dail Eireann about it a few days ago. The British claim the rock and recently there was a confrontation in the area which is traditionally fished by boats from various nations including Island. Donegal boats have faced difficulties accessing the area for twelve months and local TDs have had enough.

The problem for the UK is although they put a flag on it about seventy years ago several other countries including Ireland dispute their sovereignty. The Brits of course still live in the days of Empire when putting a flag on things meant it was yours. However the world has moved on.

For the Irish government Deputy Charlie McCanologue said:

“In relation to Rockall, Ireland has never made any claims to Rockall, nor has it ever recognised British sovereignty claims to Rockall. Accordingly, we have not recognised a 12 nautical mile territorial sea around it either. This remains the position of the Government.”

He was responding to the Donegal TD Deputy Pádraig Mac Lochlainn who was blunt about the situation:

“How in the hell can it be justified that they would also keep us out of Rockall, an area with traditional fishing grounds for Donegal fishermen and, indeed, fishermen from Castletownbere? It is sickening that we have allowed this to happen for a year”.

He went on to lambast the Irish government for its timid approach contrasting it to the French government’s stance over Channel fisheries

Here’s a link to the full Q&A:

https://www.oireachtas.ie/en/debates/question/2021-12-09/5/

And here’s the Wolfe Tones with a song – The Isle of Man even gets mention:

Image: Party from HMS Vidal in 1955 at Rockall.

Bernard Moffatt
AGS Celtic League (14th December 2021)

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