Sunday 11 December 2016

Filipino fisherman to meet Minister on migrant abuses

Published 08/11/2015 | 02:30

BUSINESS/NEWS 28102015 NO FEE FOR REPRO
At a presentation of 'A Vision for a New Curragh' the Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Mr Simon Coveney T.D. welcomed the establishment of a new company, Curragh Racecourse Limited, which will own, operate and re-develop the Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds. The development plans for the racecourse include a new grandstand, weigh-room and parade ring, while the arrivals and reception area of the racecourse will incorporate a museum of Irish racing. The existing stable yard will be completely refurbished, while a separate investment programme will be put in place for the training ground. A period of consultation will now take place in advance of the submission of a planning application. It is hoped that the new Curragh Racecourse will open in 2018 and the intention is that racing will continue throughout the development period. The overall investment in the project will be circa Eur65 million, to be financed jointly by HRI and private investment, with the objective being to complete the redevelopment without any debt. There will be three groups of shareholders who will form the Board of the new company, which will be chaired by Kildare native, former CEO of the ESB and current chairman of Eir, Padraig McManus (left), at the announcement today with Minister Simon Coveney TD.
Photo Iain White / Fennell Photography
BUSINESS/NEWS 28102015 NO FEE FOR REPRO At a presentation of 'A Vision for a New Curragh' the Minister for Agriculture, Food, the Marine and Defence, Mr Simon Coveney T.D. welcomed the establishment of a new company, Curragh Racecourse Limited, which will own, operate and re-develop the Curragh Racecourse and Training Grounds. The development plans for the racecourse include a new grandstand, weigh-room and parade ring, while the arrivals and reception area of the racecourse will incorporate a museum of Irish racing. The existing stable yard will be completely refurbished, while a separate investment programme will be put in place for the training ground. A period of consultation will now take place in advance of the submission of a planning application. It is hoped that the new Curragh Racecourse will open in 2018 and the intention is that racing will continue throughout the development period. The overall investment in the project will be circa Eur65 million, to be financed jointly by HRI and private investment, with the objective being to complete the redevelopment without any debt. There will be three groups of shareholders who will form the Board of the new company, which will be chaired by Kildare native, former CEO of the ESB and current chairman of Eir, Padraig McManus (left), at the announcement today with Minister Simon Coveney TD. Photo Iain White / Fennell Photography

An undocumented Filipino fisherman who lost his job when inspectors boarded his employer's trawler last week is to meet the Minister for Agriculture and the Marine on Thursday.

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The fisherman, will be part of a delegation from the Migrants Rights Centre that will highlight abuses in the fishing industry to the Minister's new task force.

He will tell Simon Coveney how he travelled to Northern Ireland, where his passport was confiscated by his employer and he worked in poor conditions.

He eventually escaped and worked on trawlers in Howth and most recently in Wexford as an expert mender of nets, sending home €200 to €300 a month to his family in the Philippines. His employer tried to regularise his situation but the Filipino fisherman was unable to get a work permit because he was undocumented.

The trawler he worked on was inspected the day after the Guardian newspaper focused international attention on abuses suffered by migrants working illegally on Irish trawlers, including low pay, long hours, sleep deprivation and poor training.

He faces deportation but the Migrants Rights Centre wants the minister to introduce an amnesty for undocumented fishermen already in Ireland.

Minister Coveney set up a task force to address the problem. Ken Fleming, of the International Transport Workers Federation, accused the authorities of "turning a blind eye" to trawlers using trafficked migrant workers from Africa and Asia which he has been trying to highlight for years. Fleming is also to give a presentation to the task force on Thursday.

The Migrants Rights Centre is assessing 17 cases of migrant workers in the fishing industry. The Garda National Bureau of Immigration is also examining cases of immigration abuses and suspected trafficking in the sector.

Sunday Independent

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