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Historic first meeting of Oireachtas and Stormont Agriculture Committees

3 March, 2008

The Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture, Martin Ferris TD has said that co-operation between north and south on issues affecting Irish farming is vital for the future of the sector. The Kerry North TD was speaking following today's historic first meeting between the Oireachtas and Stormont Agriculture committees in Belfast which he attended.

Deputy Ferris said: "Today's meeting represents an important and hopefully fruitful development for agriculture on this island. Given the role which the EU has in determining policy it is vital that there is the fullest possible co-operation between the two administrations and the two committees to ensure that Irish farming interests throughout the whole island are protected and advanced.

"It is clear from today's meeting that there are issues of common concern and a common interest that range across the different parts of the island and across the political spectrum. Among the issues raised were the WTO talks and the importance of a joint approach between Ministers Gildernew and Coughlan in areas where Irish interests are at stake. We also agreed on the need for a common strategy and closer co-operation on animal and food safety and the need to preserve and promote family farming." ENDS

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