Northern Ireland

Filipino fishermen visa reprieve welcomed

Kilkeel harbour
Image caption Some of the fishermen work out of Kilkeel in County Down

About 70 Filipino fishermen who were faced with having to leave NI because of visa issues have been reprieved.

The Westminster Immigration Minister Damien Green has extended their visas by one year.

Many local skippers have said that without employing Filipinos, they would be unable to set sail.

Strangford MP Jim Shannon, who campaigned on behalf of the Filipinos, said he had met some of them and been impressed by their work ethic.

"When you tell them to be on the harbour at 2am, they are there waiting, ready to go," he added.

"They've experience - they've got the fishermen's licence from the Philippines which is the equivalent to what it is here.

"They're quite capable of doing all the work that is necessary on a fishing boat."

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