The Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation (KFO) has paid tribute to its former chairman, Martin Howley whose untimely passing has left the fishing industry in mourning.
Martin has been a Board member of the KFO since it was formed in 1979 and served as chairperson for 18 years at various times his most recent three years term which ended in May of this year. He has been a hugely prominent and progressive part of the fishing community since moving to Killybegs in the 1970s.
CEO Seán O’Donoghue said that as a leader and a loyal advocate of the industry, Martin was irreplaceable.
“This is a dark day for the Killybegs Fishermen’s Organisation and the fishing industry. We have lost a dear friend and a genuine stalwart of the fishing industry who was enormously respected at all levels. Martin touched so many lives, he possessed a charisma and warmth which endeared him to so many people in Killybegs and much further afield.
‘Whether negotiating on behalf of the industry in the most challenging of times or working at the ‘coalface’, Martin was extremely popular and earned the trust of fishermen, their families, colleagues as well as the political establishment.
‘His knowledge and understanding of the sector was complemented by an innate modesty that made him a remarkable figure. He was comfortable in any company, be it with political leaders and decision makers or neighbours and fishing families.
‘He was somebody who had real vision and constantly encouraged and spear-headed progress as was evident in one of his most recent project at Bio-Marine Ingredients Ireland.
‘As a founder of Bio-marine Ingredients Ireland, Martin was always exploring new opportunities for the sector, working with science and thinking ahead to leave a sustainable industry and livelihood for the generations which follow. It would be most fitting now for us to deliver the Bio-marine Ingredients project, we owe it to Martin and his legacy,” concluded Mr O’Donoghue.