UK Claim On Lough Foyle

Historically, when Lough Foyle was discussed in Inishowen, the conversation revolved mostly around the fishing rights and the disputed nature of who owned what. In the end it usually ended up by agreeing that there is a dividing line seperating the Lough into two halves – a half for them a half for us. In truth people did not have a clue about the true situations that pertains to the Lough.

It was only when Donegal Co Cl came forward with a proposal to discharge sewage effluent into the Lough at Carnagarve ( www.savethefoyle.com ) and the local campaign group, Community For a Clean Estuary, carried out extensive research that the true picture began to emerge.

It quickly became very clear that Lough Foyle was a story in two parts -
1. The use and management of the water in the Lough and
2. Ownership of the sea-bed.

The Loughs Agency is tasked with the responsibility of part 1 above as can be seen from their Mission Statement:

The Loughs Agency aims to provide sustainable social, economic and environmental benefits through the effective conservation, protection,management, promotion and development of the fisheries and marine resources of the Foyle and Carlingford Areas

It is only when the Fisheries Division of Northern Ireland and the Irish Govt combined and came forward in 2007 with Draft Legislation (Source: http://www.irishstatutebook.ie/eli/2007/act/17/section/4/enacted/en/html ) to regulate the Aquaculture Fishery in Lough Foyle that the ‘ Elephant in the Room ‘ put in it’s appearance in the guise of the Crown Estates.

When this legislation was presented to the Crown Estates as a ‘stakeholder’ for comment it is clear from the response (source link: crown estates .pdf ) that they would not accept the proposed draft legislation and from that date the process has stalled. The letter from the Crown Estates demonstrates and clarifies the true picture in relation to who calls the shots on the ownership of the sea bed of Lough Foyle……..

This is the major ‘spanner in the works ‘ which was never addressed from the foundation of the state and missed again by the Good Friday Agreement.


In the context of the Good Friday Agreement, a decision was taken to co-operate on foreshore and other issues that arise in the management of the lough from conservation and other points of view.

Source: http://sluggerotoole.com/2009/06/22/we-cannot-put-submarine-cables-near-disputed-border-regions/

At least Brokenshire has put he British Govt. cards on the table and will force some kind of response from the Irish Authorities. This comes to the fore now ( deliberately? ) in the context of a possible Brexit and if the claim being made is held to what then for anyone from Donegal or indeed South of Ireland as a whole, for either business or pleasure, accessing Lough Foyle.

There are many other points to be made here but in my opinion would need a sit down discussion where i would include Dr Don Mc Ginley if you were interested. .. We have an ongoing web site at www.savethefoyle.com and www.savethefoyle.com/eccomplaint …let me know what you think.

It is felt down here that it is no coincidence that this claim has been made at this time. It is also felt there could be serious ramifications for all access to Lough Foyle in the context of Brexit. I suppose in the context of a wall we can always call on our man Trump to sort it out,

Regards

Enda

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