The Sinn Féin Deputy First Minister Martin McGuinness has today attended the National Ploughing Championships in New Ross Co. Wexford.
Speaking as he met with the public, rural stakeholders and representatives of the agricultural sector, Mr McGuinness said:
“I wish to commend the organisers of the National Ploughing Championships which each year acts as a showcase for all that rural Ireland has to offer. There is a community spirit and way of life that is unique to rural Ireland. This community spirit is clearly on show here in New Ross.
“Rural communities have been at the receiving end of a plethora of cutbacks and stealth taxes at the hands of the Fine Gael/Labour government. Unemployment is soaring. Scores of young men and women are leaving their homes to go abroad in search of work. Public services in rural areas have been decimated. The household and septic tank charges have put even more pressure on already struggling families. Despite all this it is clear that rural communities have come out fighting and Sinn Féin is committed to standing with them in their fight.
“Over the past number of months Sinn Féin has been engaging in our ‘Love Rural Ireland’ campaign. This is first and foremost a campaign of opposition to the unfair hand that rural communities have been dealt, but also this campaign looks at the potential that rural Ireland has to offer in terms of developing and rejuvenating the economy.
“We believe that sustainable rural economies that can offer employment to young people can be built. We believe that the emigration that blighted past generations should not be the future for our children. We believe that rural communities deserve better and that there should be an all-Ireland approach to the revitalisation of rural economies.
“Rural Ireland can be an engine for change and an engine for recovery. Robust proposals are needed to unlock the potential that exists in rural communities. Sinn Féin will be delivering our proposals in the coming months as a culmination of our campaign.”