‘It was two years of absolute torment’ – Immigration charges dismissed against two Irish fishermen who hired Filipino sailors

Pat O’Mahony and Leonard Hyde had insisted to Cork District Court they understood the UK agency they hired would ensure full compliance with all Irish visa, work permit and passport regulations. Both also vehemently insisted that the two Filipino fishermen involved were treated with every consideration and respect while they worked on the ‘Labardie Fisher’ trawler operating from Crosshaven, Co Cork in 2015. The men told the two day trial that, had they any inkling the two Filipino sailors were not legally entitled to work in Ireland because they had entered via Belfast, they would never have contracted for them. Judge Aingeal Ni Chonduin dismissed all charges against the men after the trial heard that other fishermen who used the same agency and route to bring Filipino sailors into Ireland to work on other trawlers had those workers even given safety training by State agencies. Cork District Court was packed with up to 30 fishermen from all over Cork, Kerry, Waterford and Donegal who wanted to support the duo. All cheered as Judge Ni Chonduin dismissed all charges within minutes of the closing arguments. Read the story here 16:36

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