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Sinn Féin to hold major meeting on the impact of CAP and decoupling for rural communities

4 November, 2003


West Tyrone Sinn Féin MP Pat Doherty, in his capacity as head of the party's Agriculture and Rural Development Department, has organised a major public meeting to discuss key issues that affect rural and farming families in areas west of the Bann.

The local MP was accompanied by Councillors Peter Kelly, Mickey Mc Anespie and Claire Mc Gilll to announce the objectives of the meeting which is to take place in Kelly's Inn, Garvaghy on Tuesday 18th November at 7.30 PM. Thousands of leaflets are being distributed in rural areas informing people of the event at which a high level Sinn Fein delegation will be present.

Mr Doherty said,

"This meeting for people west of the Bann is but the latest in a series of such meetings organised by Sinn Fein throughout Ireland. The objective of these meetings is not only to inform the public of Sinn Fein's proposals for the development of an All-Ireland approach to Agriculture and Rural Development but with the wide-ranging implications of the CAP reform proposals, to listen to and take on board the concerns of the rural and agriculture community in regards to key issues including:

1. The agricultural status of the North.

2. Common Agricultural Policy and Decoupling.

3. Environmental Concerns, including water quality and new regulations prohibiting the burial of dead animal on farms.

4. UK tagging and "all-Island" food promotion.

5. Milk Quota's for Ireland as a whole.

6. The total failure of DARD in tackling major diseases like Tuberculosis and Brucellosis.

After the election of a new Assembly, a high-level delegation from Sinn Féin will meet with the incoming Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development. We will be raising key issues that affect Rural and Farming families across the country and I would therefore look forward to as many people as possible making their views known at this West of the Bann meeting.

It is our aspiration to accurately reflect the views and ideas of the rural and agricultural community West of the Bann. It is our sincere hope that this will be the first step in a long process of redressing the neglect of the Ruraland Agricultural sector in the region. ENDS

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