Over 25 Dingle fishermen have begun blocking Spanish and French boats attempting to dock at the local pier, according to Radio Kerry.
They say that they are concerned that foreign ships and crew are potentially carrying the coronavirus into the country. Locals claim that the ships are not obeying the government’s social distancing guidelines and are behaving recklessly.
There are currently 3 such foreign ships waiting to dock – two Spanish and one French, with a collective crew of around 40 – but it has been claimed that in recent weeks foreign crew of boats docking in Dingle have failed to conform to practices advised by the HSE. It’s also claimed that many foreign crews are in breach of international maritime law by failing to produce certification of their vaccination history.
Protestor Robert Brosnan informed Newstalk Breakfast that the local town had a large elderly population as well as several nursing homes, and therefore the town was at particular risk.
“We identified a danger and took a stand on behalf of the community”, Brosnan was quoted as saying. “We have to protect our community.”
Though the Gardaí were notified about the issue, it’s believed that they have no power to stop boats docking, and so locals took blockading the pier into their own hands. However, the local fishermen say that they will let boats refuel if needed before heading off about their business.