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Speaking in Galway today ahead of meetings with representatives of Galway farmers and other rural groups this afternoon, the Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture Martin Ferris TD said that it is vital that all sectors of the rural community participate in forming a strategy to ensure the economic survival and prosperity of the West.

The Kerry North TD is meeting groups as part of the process of collecting submissions for an Oireachtas Agriculture Committee report on farming and fishing in the west of Ireland. Submissions can be sent to Deputy Ferris' office in Leinster House before Friday September 19th when they will be considered by the Committee.

Deputy Ferris said: "It is particularly important at a time of crisis for both farming and fishing, that Leinster House is aware of as wide a range of views and proposals as represented by the different organisations and interests involved. Fishing is particularly in the news at the moment, but farmers are still facing a possibly disastrous WTO deal if the Mandelson Proposals are accepted.

"The further exposure to imports could have a particularly devastating impact on a county like Galway where lamb production is an important sector and with the knock on effect in processing jobs. I will be hoping that those who I meet today will contribute to the report and in that way help to energise a strategy for the prosperous future for the rural economy in the west." ENDS


Stand up for Gay Rights! - Join in Belfast Pride Celebrations The Belfast Pride Festival begins this Saturday 26 July, lasting a week and culminating with a huge march through Belfast City Centre on Saturday 2 August, assembling at Customs House Square @ 12noon. The march attracted record numbers last year with over 6500 in attendance, each participant supporting the rights of the local gay community and the core premises of the international gay pride movement. Other highlights of the festival include the Amnesty International lecture by human rights and gay rights activist Peter Thatchell, and a 'Pride Talks Back'. All events and further information can be viewed at Encouraging maximum turnout for the Belfast pride events, National Organiser of Ógra Shinn Féin, Barry McColgan said, "The gay community are an integral part of Irish society, and the Belfast pride festival, which continues to grow year on year, has become a hugely positive and productive community event." "Ógra Shinn Féin are urging maximum attendance at this year's pride events, to demonstrate solidarity with the gay community, and to stand up for their rights, in the face of discrimination, attacks and the deeply offensive and insulting remarks from Iris Robinson." "Stand up for human rights on Saturday 2 August, celebrate diversity, and send a message out loud and clear that bigotry will be overcome, and an Ireland of equals achieved."


Ó Donnghaile submits clear message to the consultation on the future of Mountpottinger Barracks

Niall Ó Donnghaile has formally submitted Sinn Féin's submission to the consultation on the future of Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks in the Short Strand area of East Belfast.

He said,

"Today I have written to the District Commander in East Belfast submitting my party's position on the future of Mountpottinger PSNI Barracks. For decades now Sinn Féin has joined with the local community to call for the dismantling of Mountpottinger and its replacement with affordable and social homes.

Our position remains that Mountpottinger must go, for years now our campaigned has called for 'homes not forts', and that is what we will continue to work to achieve.

We accept also that communities need a high standard of effective community orientated policing; we are about getting that right for the people we represent. However the current presence and any planned retention of Mountpottinger Barracks does nothing to help process.

Mountpottinger's days are over, it is a relic of intimidation, oppression and murder; the community want to see it gone. Over the coming weeks Sinn Féin will be collecting signatures from the local community for a petition calling for the removal of Mountpottinger.


Notes to Editors:

Following is a copy of the letter Niall sent in as a submission to this consultation

Mountpottinger has a long and notorious history for the people who live within the very community its presence disrupts. Not only in terms of its appearance does the Barracks not fit in with the modern appearance of the Short Strand area, but in terms of the record that this particular fort holds, warrants its closure without delay.

For many, Mountpottinger is a site of collusion, intimidation, repression and death; many local people were held and brutalised there before moving on to other notorious interrogation centres. Its armoury was open for use to Loyalist Paramilitaries to murder innocent Nationalists and Republicans and it was from this base that an RUC officer emerged to murder Tony Dawson. In June 1970 when Saint Matthew's Chapel and the whole of the Short Strand area came under sustained attack, the doors of the Barracks remained firmly shut and no assistance emerged. Therefore it comes as no surprise that the legacy, infamy and notoriety of this base must be taken into account and its necessity questioned, within a new political dispensation, within a new Béal Feirste.

In practical terms, the base is little used or manned; it is located in the heart of one of Belfast's oldest communities with a chronic need for the development of affordable and social housing. The removal of Mountpottinger can greatly assist our arguments for, and ability to achieve a degree of social housing on the vacant site. This is something that Sinn Féin and other community representatives have lobbied on for decades. We have engaged with other stakeholders, including the Housing Executive, regarding the possibility for development when the base is removed.

Sinn Féin is on record as having long campaigned for (under the banner of 'Homes not Forts') the closure and removal of Mountpottinger Barracks and we will continue to do so in the time ahead. We have joined with the Short Strand community on countless occasions to protest at its unnecessary presence and the need for its dismantling. That campaign and the wishes of the host community must be taken on board and reflected within this review. The PSNI have an opportunity here to show that they are serious about getting policing right within our community, something they have never done before, and there is no greater reminder and reflection of that poor standard of policing than the very Barracks under review.

Our community needs effective policing; we are about working to get that right. Initiatives such as civilianised mobile stations etc are all worth looking at in the time ahead and Sinn Féin is committed to working with all those statutory bodies, community organisations as well as the PSNI achieving the highest level and best standard of policing for our people. With completion of the work at Strandtown Barracks in the time ahead, the retention of Mountpottinger will become even more pointless. We must face into modern day problems with effective modern day policing to challenge the many issues facing our communities including the scourge of drugs and anti social/community behaviour.

The continued presence of Mountpottinger serves and benefits no one, the people want it dismantled and something much more worthwhile established in its place.

Is mise,

Niall Ó Donnghaile
Ionadaí Shinn Féin Béal Feirste Soir
Sinn Féin Representative East Belfast


The Sinn Fein President, Gerry Adams, will launch the party's 'Text to Join' initiative tomorrow, Thursday 24 July, at 3.30pm outside Sinn Fein head office on the Falls Road.

Mr Adams will be accompanied by Lisburn councillor Charlene O'Hara, north Belfast councillor Tiarna Cunningham and east Belfast Sinn Fein representative Niall O'Donnghaile.

Mr Adams said:

''Currently people can phone, 'walk in' or email to apply to join Sinn Fein.

''The email system in recent times has been the most successful.

''We recognise that almost everyone has a mobile phone so why not 'Text to Join'.

''The party has set up a 5 digit number and from now on people can text 'JOIN' followed by their name and address to 60600 and apply to 'Join by Text'.

''We believe that this recent development will bring more people to Sinn Fein.

''If the email success is anything to go by then moving with technology can only benefit the party. ''

Information for editors

A 30x3 foot banner with the 'Join by Text' details will be hung at Sinn Fein's Falls Road offices.
Large 4 foot mobile phone images with 'Join by Text' details will also be unveiled.
Thousands of business cards with the 'Join by Text' detail will be distributed over the coming weeks and months.


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Human Rights, Martina Anderson MLA (Foyle) has welcomed new legislation that will require Airports to provide services to assist passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility when travelling through airports in Europe.

Martina Anderson said:

"From Saturday 26 July, airports will be required to provide services that will assist passengers with disabilities or reduced mobility that will relieve many of the anxieties that they now experience on their journey.

"I would encourage any passenger with disabilities who may encounter difficulty at airports particularly in the North while travelling to contact the Consumer Council, who has the power to deal with these situations, so that they can be addressed.

"I would also urge Airport management to ensure that facilities are in place to ensure that the new regulations can be implemented with the minimum of fuss to ensure stress free journey for those with disabilities or reduced mobility.


Responding to the record seizure of methamphetamine of crystal meth in County Offaly on Monday Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD said the new National Drugs Strategy, which is currently being drafted, must include measures to pre-empt the influx of this type of drug into the country and an awareness programme of the very dangerous effects of the drug.

Deputy Ó Snodaigh also welcomed the conviction of three men in relation to the record seizure of cocaine off the coast of Cork last year.

Speaking today Deputy Ó Snodaigh said, "Sinn Féin has been warning for some time of the threat of crystal meth to communities in Ireland and of the very real possibility of this drugs establishing a foothold in Ireland.

"Monday's record seizure of six kilos of methamphetamine in County Offaly confirms that our concerns were justified. It is now essential that the Government does not repeat the mistakes of the past when it ignored warnings of a possible outbreak of the heroin epidemic to the detriment of local communities. The Minister must heed the warning of international trends and take strong action now.

"Firm action is required to stem the outbreak of crystal meth in Ireland. Crystal meth is already known to be available in Ireland's cities, towns and even rural settings already. There have been consistent seizures of it here since 2004 and the quantities seized, although considered relatively small, are rising. And it may have already cost young lives. The consequences of crystal meth can be aggression, psychosis, addiction, abscesses, liver or kidney disease.

"This drug is highly addictive and if it gets a foothold in Ireland it will have seriously detrimental impact on the safety of our communities.

"The next National Drugs Strategy from 2009 to 2016 must include an awareness campaign to warn people of the dangers of these drugs along with measures to pre-empt their influx into the country.

"I also want to welcome the convictions yesterday of three men on charges relating to the record seizure of €440 million of cocaine off the coast of Cork. I congratulate those Gardaí and custom officers involved." ENDS


The people of Derry should be informed how a proposed review of the benefits system will affect not just claimants but jobs here, local Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has insisted.

"Under the review of the Social Security Agency, a new stream-lined model of the service is being proposed," Ms. Anderson said.

"This will mean a significant reduction in the number of jobs and benefits offices across the North with more people being asked to get advice by pre-arranged appointment or by telephone service.

"However, I have very serious concerns about how these changes could affect services in areas like Derry and other regions of high deprivation.

"Face-to face contact and advice is crucial when it comes to negotiating the complexities of the benefits system while many people struggling with their benefits may not be able to wait for an appointment or even have access to a phone.

"I am also concerned about how these changes could impact upon staff in social security offices and I have written to the Minister for Social Development Margaret Ritchie calling on her to ensure that this review will not have a detrimental impact on either staff or services."


Newsletter by UUP MLA David McNarry in which he said Unionists will continue to oppose an Irish Language Act, Sinn Féin spokesperson on the Irish language Francie Brolly MLA has said that the UUP have missed the point.

Mr Brolly said:

"The UUP claim that any Irish language legislation is a negative move. Nothing could be further from the truth. The Irish language is a threat to no-one and it is not compulsory. What do the UUP have to fear from multi-lingualism?

"What does Unionism have to fear from safeguarding Irish language rights? The language belongs to everyone; catholic, protestant and dissenter. What was agreed in the St Andrews Agreement protects the rights of those 4000 Irish speaking children which the UUP and the new Assembly now represent. The legislation enshrines the Irish language within a multicultural and multilingual society. Can the UUP tell me what is wrong with this?

"Ireland is changing into a positive, vibrant and welcoming entity which provides for all and the language has a part to play in uniting everyone. I urge the UUP to be long-sighted in this matter." Críoch


Drogheda Sinn Féin Councillor Mathew Coogan said today that a petition to the High Court to have Foscadh Housing Association dissolved justifies Sinn Féin's concerns around public funding for the body.

Drogheda Borough Council this month approved additional funding of €1,728,727 for Foscadh Housing Association despite protests from Sinn Féin Councillors and concern about the need for extra funding.

Councillor Coogan said, "Sinn Féin Councillors were quite concerned in February when Foscadh Housing Association requested additional funding of €1,728,727. We wanted to know why this extra money was required and called for an enquiry. Despite our protestations the additional funding was approved this month (7th July) without an enquiry. However, a notice in yesterday's Irish Times confirms that a petition has been presented to the High Court for the winding up of the company showing that Sinn Féin's concerns were justified and caution was warranted.

"My colleague, Louth Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan today contacted the clerk at Drogheda Borough Council and was assured that no payments have been made on foot of the 7th July Council decision. However, the Council did confirm that a payment of €359,000 is about to be paid. Deputy Morgan received an assurance from the Council that a significant proportion of this payment will go directly to the contractor who is building houses for the company and cannot be used by the company to pay off arrears.

"My Sinn Féin Colleague Councillor Dom Wilton and I have asked for an enquiry into the handling of public money by Foscadh and into how Drogheda Borough Council held that company to account in respect of these public moneys. We reiterate that call today and we are demanding that the money approved for the company goes directly to the contractors to build much needed social housing and not to the company to pay off its debts." ENDS


The chairperson of Wexford Sinn Fein has described news that an Irish navy vessel is threatening to 'open fire' on a fishing boat heading towards Kilmore Quay as "an outrageous and disproportionate response to the refusal of the fishermen to allow the navy to board the boat."
Speaking this evening before taking part in a protest at Kilmore Quay, Seamie Davitt said, "Irelands fishing industry is on its knees.  It is being regulated and policed out of existence by the Government and its security apparatus.  Threatening to open fire on any Irish fishing vessel is completely unacceptable.  It is an outrageous and disproportionate response to the refusal of the fishermen to allow the navy to board the boat.

"It is clear that the EU regulations that govern the fishing industry are used more stringently and harshly against the Irish fishing fleet than non-Irish boats operating legally and illegally in Irish waters.
"The Irish Government and its resources would be better spent renegotiating a proper and fair deal for Irish fishing communities and eliminating from Irish waters all illegal fishing than criminalising Irish fishermen and forcing them to dump perfectly good fish at sea.  The current regime that governs fishing needs to be overhauled immediately." ENDS


A National Republican Youth Weekend is set for Derry City on 15 - 17 August. The weekend will coincide with the National Hungerstrike Rally which for the first time in 27 years is being organised outside of Belfast.

The weekend which is open to everyone, will include, historical tours, talks, workshops and craic agus ceol, and will see young republicans come from across Ireland. A number of international youth movements will also be in attendance.

Urging young republicans to attend the weekend of events, Nial Doran of Derry Ógra Shinn Féin said,

"It is an honour for Derry Republicans to host the National Hungerstrike Rally this year, and we intend to make it a major success and a fine tribute to our fallen comrades. The theme for this year's march is 'The Struggle Continues' and it is apt that we are organising a Republican Youth Weekend, as it will be the modern day youth who are the inheritors and activists who will ensure the continuity and successful conclusion of the struggle."

"We would urge all young republicans, across Ireland, to mobilise for Derry on the weekend. The clár contains many educational talks, tours and workshops, and we have a good social dimension to the weekend to ensure that working relationships, comradeship and ideas are built and shared. We look forward to seeing you in Derry!"

If anyone is interested in attending the weekend, please contact 07871 298 718 or [email protected].

For film promoting the weekend:

National Irish Republican Youth Weekend
'The Struggle Continues'

15 - 17 August

Friday 15 August

6pm: Arrival and Registration

6.15pm: Failte

7pm: Dinner

8pm: 'The Struggle Continues'

10pm: Rebel Night

Saturday 16 August

9pm: Breakfast

10am: Workshops: Banner Making, Publicity and Propaganda, Organisation, Gender Equality

12noon: Unveiling of Ógra Shinn Féin Mural

1pm: Tour of Bogside

2.30pm: Lunch

3.00pm: 'Youth in Struggle' DVD showing and Public Talk

4.30pm: 'The Hungerstrike - Internationalising the Struggle' Public Talk

6.30pm: Dinner

8pm: Ban Taser Guns Protest @ Strand Road PSNI Barracks

10pm: Hungerstrike Committee Function

Sunday 17 August

10am: Breakfast

11am: Assisting with preparations for Hungerstrike March

2.30pm: Hungerstrike March


Fermanagh Sinn Féin council group leader, Thomas Ó Reilly said:
"Sinn Féin are currently undergoing our selection process for this by-election. We will be putting forward a strong candidate based on our record locally and nationally.

"Whatever about the infighting which is going on within unionism which has led to this by-election and now led to the bizarre candidacy of Arlene Foster, a sitting Minister, who has just resigned from the same council and who recently proposed legislation to end dual mandates, one thing is certain for the electors in Enniskillen - Sinn Féin is the only party who can capture this seat from the unionist parties.

"It is therefore vital that nationalists and republicans seek to maximise the united Ireland vote at this poll. We are confident that in the coming weeks as the campaign gets underway that we will see another strong Sinn Féin performance in this area."


Note to editor,

Arlene Foster as Minister speaking on the RPA issue on 31 March 2008 has stated in the Assembly-

"In examining the structural reform of local government, we also considered the number of councillors that will be required under the new arrangements. We examined the need for appropriate representation against the background of a fully functioning Assembly and Executive, and the need to ensure efficient working and decision-making. We weighed those factors and came to the view that Belfast should retain an upper limit of around 60 councillors and that the remaining councils would have an upper limit of around 40 councillors. The determination of the precise number of councillors for each new local government district will be informed by the report from the independent local government boundaries commissioner on the number of wards in each new district.
Linked to the rationalisation of the number of councils and councillors, I will introduce a severance scheme in order to recognise the contribution of long-standing councillors who opt not to stand for re-election and to facilitate the modernisation and renewal of local government. The development of the detail of the scheme will be informed by the report and recommendations of the councillors' remuneration working group, which reported in June 2006.
In addition, I intend to work with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Office in order to introduce legislative proposals to end the dual mandate of those councillors who are also Members of the Assembly and/or Parliament. In order to facilitate a smooth transition over a period of time, and in keeping with the desire that the review of public administration should result in savings, I will also work with colleagues in the Northern Ireland Office to introduce transitional legislative provisions to provide for any vacancies in local government that result from the ending of the dual mandate to be filled on the basis of co-option rather than by-election."


Responding to the shooting of a man in his constituency this morning Sinn Féin Justice Spokesperson Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD called for higher Garda visibility, on foot and on bicycles, in areas where drug and gun crime levels are high. Deputy Ó Snodaigh expressed concern at the high levels of shootings and an increase in the use of pipe bombs.

He said, "The shooting of a man in Cherry Orchard this morning is the third shooting in four days in Dublin. In between the killing of two men at the weekend and today's shooting there was a pipe-bomb attack on a house in Clondalkin. It is worrying that these types of crime are now happening on a daily basis.

"Of particular concern is a recent spike in the number of pipe-bomb attacks on homes. If one of these devices explodes the potential for innocent casualties is significantly high. They also pose a significant threat to the safety of the Gardaí and members of the Defence Forces who have to make the devices safe.

"New Justice Minister Dermot Ahern's settling in period has come to an end and it is time for him to act. The effectiveness of Operation Anvil is in question and he must now give his evaluation of that operation. If the overtime ban is negatively effecting the operation then the current deployment and use of Garda time must be re-examined in light of this.

"One of the central proposals in Sinn Féin's Community Safety Policy is to have more Gardaí on foot and on bicycles in communities where these types of crimes are happening on a regular basis. The vast majority of the people in these communities are decent, law abiding, working people and have the right to feel safe in their homes. The best way to provide that is to have Gardaí highly visible in the community.

"The fact that many of these crimes happen in broad daylight shows that those responsible have no fear of being caught by the Gardaí. This is a symptom of the shortage of Garda community patrols. The process of civilianisation of administrative Garda duties must be expedited to free up Gardaí, to get them out from behind desks and onto the streets to tackle serious drug and gun crime." ENDS


Sinn Féin Director of Elections and Omagh Town councillor Sean Begley has said that the continuous registration being rolled out by the electoral office is bearing fruits. He was speaking after it was revealed there was in increase of more than 300% in the number of registration applications received compared with the same period the previous year. The figures were included in the annual report 2007/08 by the chief electoral officer, Douglas Bain.
The report showed that the register published in December 2007 had an increase of 50,000 electors.
Speaking following the reports publication, Councillor Sean Begley said
'Sinn Féin has always been a strong advocate of rolling registration, since its abolition a number of years ago we have seen huge depletions in numbers on the electoral register. The high levels of absences on the register along with lobbying forced the electoral office to reinstate the rolling registration scheme.
However with all the good work that is being done it is clear that a lot of people who are still not on the register, this is particularly prevalent in new housing developments and areas which has seen a large population growth in recent months and years. In terms of this there has already been good work done with the electoral office currently engaged in eight pilot registration projects. I would like the see theses programmes extended throughout the north. It is my belief that there should be numerous programmes such as this rolled out on a continuous basis to make up for the huge deficit in the electoral register. ENDS


Sinn Féin Assembly member Cathal Boylan has said that his party is determined to resist attempts which are underway to repackage the PPS14 planning regulations.

Mr Boylan said:

"At the time the PPS14 planning regulations were first produced there was a universal rejection of them by parties and groups representing rural communities. It is up to the Executive to meet the justifiable and real concerns of rural dwellers.

"It now seems that the DUP and others on the Executive are content to simply repackage the PPS14 proposals. Sinn Féin will not acquiesce to this position. We will continue to defend the right of rural communities to exist and the rights of rural families to live in the countryside.

"I note that the SDLP leader Mark Durkan is criticising our robust stance on this and other Executive matters while on the other hand fellow SDLP MLAs are claiming to support rural communities. They cannot have it both ways and I would encourage the SDLP to join with us in ensuring that the mistakes of PPS14 are not repeated.

"Sinn Féin do not support wholesale unregulated building in the countryside. But we make no apology for standing by rural communities and rural families, particularly non farming families who wish to remain living in a vibrant rural setting." ENDS


Sinn Féin's Foyle MLA Martina Anderson has questioned the intentions of DUP MLA Iris Robinson in her latest attack against the gay community.

She said,

"Iris Robinson's comments come on the back of several ill advised and poorly judge statements from a woman who is not only the wife of the First Minister but the chairperson of the Assembly Health Committee.

Surely she realises the effects that these comments have on the gay community, a vulnerable community which already suffers an intolerable degree of discrimination and attack. Her words undermine the sterling work of groups such as the rainbow project who were recently hosted in the Long Gallery Stormont.

I accept that she has since retracted her words, but what we need to see now is a change in her attitude and an acceptance of the fact that these words and statements are deeply, deeply offensive and hurtful to members of the gay community and their families."



Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams described today's meeting with EU President Nicolas Sarkozy as useful saying "whilst the process of setting up today's meeting was imperfect it is worth noting that Mr. Sarkosy did what the Irish government have failed to, he has met with and listened to those who campaigned against the Lisbon Treaty."

Mr. Adams said:

"A number of key issues were touched on during the meeting. I noted to the EU President that the reasons behind the No vote were not as complex as he and others have suggested. The Irish electorate were deeply concerned with issues such as democracy, Ireland's loss of power within the EU, neutrality and militarisation, workers rights and public services. Indeed these same concerns are shared by many across the European Union.

"I told Mr. Sarkozy that there can be no re running of the Lisbon Treaty. The Irish people have rejected the Treaty by a clear majority and by the EU's own rules it cannot proceed without the ratification of all member states. The Lisbon Treaty is finished therefore negotiations for a new Treaty must begin.

"Sinn Féin had sought a one to one meeting with President Sarkozy during his visit to outline in detail our proposals following the Irish people's rejection of the Treaty. Whilst we were not afforded the opportunity to do so on this occasion we will continue to pursue our request.

“During the meeting I presented to the EU President Sinn Féin's 'A Better Deal is Possible' document which outlines in details our proposals of what a new Treaty deal must contain.

"I concluded by noting the legitimacy of the EU project will come into question unless the views expressed by the Irish people and shared by many throughout the union are listened to and acted upon." ENDS


Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said that Mark Durkan's call for the Assembly to be recalled is nothing more than political posturing.

Ms Anderson said,

"Mark Durkan knows better than most that the Assembly has not got the fiscal controls to alleviate the present financial crisis facing people. It neither has the ability to reduce income tax, product tax or to increase benefits.

"Mark Durkan was Deputy First Minister when he capitulated to the British Exchequer by accepting a long term loan rather than push for a substantial peace dividend argued by Sinn Féin.

"However the SDLP Minister of Social Development Margaret Ritchie has the power to wipe off the debt accrued under Working Tax Credits due to overpayments by the Department. Sinn Féin has called repeatedly for the Minister to act and help alleviate the hardship on the most disadvantaged yet these pleas have been ignored.

"Rather than attract attention through political sound bites Mark Durkan would be better off showing leadership by directing Margaret Ritchie to act immediately and wipe off the debt accrued through Working Tax Credits.


Sinn Fein MEP Bairbre de Brun has today lent her support to farmers protesting outside Leinster House against Commissioner Mandelson's WTO proposals.

After speaking with protesting farmers today Ms de Brun said:

'The Mandelson WTO proposals will devastate Irish agriculture while doing nothing to help those in developing countries. Farmers rightly voiced their concerns about these proposals on the occasion of EU President Sarkozy's visit to Ireland today and I am more than happy to lend them my support.'

Speaking in support of protesting fishermen also outside Government Buildings, Ms de Brun. said


Sinn Féin TD Arthur Morgan has voiced his support for the protests by fishermen in Dublin this afternoon to coincide with the visit of French President Nicolas Sarkozy. The Louth TD attended protests at O'Connell Bridge and outside Government Buildings.

Deputy Morgan said: "Irish fishermen are facing an unprecedented crisis at the current time. Indeed it would be no exaggeration to say that the very survival of the sector is at stake.

"It has been brought to a head by the recent steep rise in fuel prices, but in many ways that only threatens to be the straw that breaks the camels back. The fact is that increasing restrictions and a completely unbalanced and unfair quota system that discriminates against Irish fishermen in our own waters, have already brought fishing to its knees.

"The priority now must be to provide immediate and meaningful aid to allow fishermen to remain in business rather than pay them to give up fishing. But the real problems can only be addressed through a radical overhaul of the Common Fisheries Policy to allow this country regain control of what ought to be a valuable natural resource and source of employment." ENDS

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