Oyster workers abused

Photo: Angela Tourish
Photo: Angela Tourish

Follwing allegations that some employees at the controversial Linsfort Beach oyster farm have been subjected to a number of verbal assaults, local politicians have called for the abuse to stop

The politicans acknowledge

that local people have a right to protest, but have urged them to direct their frustrations to the correct people.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’, the owner of the oyster farm, Derek Diver, said, “We completed the application in the right way and went through the proper process.

“We understand that some local people are frustrated that the planning notice advertisement did not go in a more local paper but we must stress that we were given the wording and content of the advertisement from the Department and were expressly told which paper it needed to appear in.”

Confirming this information, Sinn Féin TD, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn said, “The business running the oyster farm is a family one; one which re-invests their profits back into the industry to create much needed employment
in the area.

“They are not a big wealthy company, but normal people who have been in the business for over 30 years.

“They are now rightly concerned about the safety of their family and employees. Abuse of this nature needs to stop. Instead, those who are protesting need to direct their concerns to the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine.”

Charlie McConalogue, Fianna Fáil TD, continued, “The local people protesting about the oyster farm on Linsfort beach have the right to ask legitimate questions of the Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine, but their frustrations should not be taken out on the workers at the oyster farm.

“They have genuine issues which need addressed, and I know they are concerned that this oyster farm is on a beach, which is not usual practice around Inishowen.

“However, any company is entitled to apply for a licence and this one followed the correct procedure.”In the meantime the group ‘Save Linsfort Beach’ have launched a website - www.savelinsfortbeach.comOn the website they say, “The oyster farm will eventually span approximately 1.25 kilometres of pristine sandy beach. It will cut across large sections of 5 beaches, all of which are used by the local community and are a big tourist attraction. Inishowen is not a large industrial area, our main industry is tourism so to lose one of our key features is a travesty. “The people are NOT against oyster farming or employment, they just feel this farm is in the wrong location.”