Rockall a tiny uninhabitable islet in the North Atlantic is the subject of dispute between the Irish and British governments.
Located 423.2 kilometres northwest of Ireland and 301.3 kilometres west of Scotland, this small granite island 91 metres in circumference and 21 metres above sea level is an eroded stump of an extinct volcano.
Annexed by Britain in 1955, it was incorporated as part of Scotland in 1972. The British government recently enacted The Continental Shelf (Designation of Additional Areas) Order 1974 which lays further claim to Rockall.
The Irish government does not recognise this, and while Ireland has not declared sovereignty over the island, Minister for Foreign Affairs Garrett FitzGerald says that international law must be adhered to in such cases.
There are diverging views between ourselves and the British government as to what waters are involved.
The rock itself is not really the issue, says Garrett FitzGerald, but rather
It’s the continental shelf claim.
Fianna Fáil spokesman on Foreign Affairs Michael O’Kennedy also spoke to RTÉ News. He is in favour of the Irish government taking similar actions on Rockall to those of Britain,
We should in fact take every step to protect our interest.
An RTÉ News report broadcast on 10th September 1974. The reporter is John Howard.