Her existence fishing the waters around the Aran Islands, like that of all Ireland's fishermen, is a day-to-day struggle with the European Union's Common Fisheries Policy and the powerful Irish bureaucrats that enforce it.
Cliona is the type of person that rational, democratic and progressive societies need. She is self-reliant, outspoken, committed and knowledgeable about her trade and passionate in the defence of its interest.
But her expertise and commitment, like that of people in many other walks of life, is now overridden by the technocrats and "experts" who impose the "we know best" rules and procedures of officialdom.
I was already melted in tears when I continued reading with a citation of this fisherwoman:
"We fish monk surrounded by French and Spanish boats. You are lucky to see one other Irish boat. We can not fish in our own waters," she told me. "But we do see a lot of the Irish Navy because it keeps busy intimidating Irish fishermen to enforce EU rules."
"Irish fishermen are the apex of an upside down pyramid that supports fisheries bureaucrats and inspectors who sit in their suits without a clue about what we do. If the Irish fishing industry disappears it is nothing to them. They are civil servants."
It is exactly this kind of antiquated nationalistic argumentation combining stupidities of "family tradition", the bad "Spanish/French/etc." fishers (who should have no right!!! to fish along the Irish shores), with this notion of evil technical "experts" that keep Europe and the rest of the world apart from solving our common problems.
That the fish stocks all over the European waters are so low that we have to fear the extinction of complete populations of fish can only be solved by "bureaucrats" who try to see the global picture instead of single sad stories mixed with political stupidities. But yes, Mr Waterfield, try to tell us something about a "rational, democratic and progressive society" that will never come as long as such kind of articles help to divide instead of finding common solutions: "Irish waters for Irish fisherwomen." is not progressive, democratic and not rational!
And that Lisbon (compared to Nice) does in no way change the situation of this lady is just another truth ignored in the article. ..