Frustration is building around the coastline over a reluctance by Minister for Marine Michael Creed to avail of EU funding to ease the negative impact of the COVID-19 pandemic on the fishing and fish farming industries.
As The Sunday Times reports, a European Commission scheme was signalled almost a month ago to soften the dramatic economic blow.
The European Commission temporary relief scheme - rubberstamped on Friday by the European Parliament - allows EU member states flexibility to divert existing structural funds into compensation packages, including fleet tie-ups.
Portugal and Latvia are among the first states to secure European Commission sanction for multimillion-euro schemes, while departed member Britain announced a £10 million specific package last week, with £ 1.5 million for Northern Ireland.
However, Mr Creed has said he is not proposing a tie-up scheme for Irish fishing vessels at present.
The department said that a fleet tie-up would be kept “in reserve”, but Mr Creed’s “main focus at this point is to work to continue to support the supply of food”.
He has been criticised for inaction by Ireland South Green Party MEP Grace O’Sullivan, who said that “ Europe is being proactive in opening channels of funding and support”.
She warned that Mr Creed must “not only... demand a fair share of the funding, but he must distribute it throughout the country and not focus it in one or two geographical areas”.
The Irish whitefish and inshore fleets and fish and shellfish farmers face millions of euro in losses due to a collapse in prices for fresh produce and loss of high-value restaurant markets, exacerbated by disrupted supply chains.
Read more in The Sunday Times here