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De Brún attends Society of St. Vincent de Paul Poverty Strategy launch

10 November, 2003

Speaking at the launch of Society of St. Vincent de Paul research on poverty in Belfast today, for which she has written the forward, former Sinn Féin Minister for Health, Social Services and Public Safety, West Belfast Assembly candidate Bairbre de Brún said:

"St. Vincent de Paul plays a substantial role in our society, providing those most of need with the support, assistance and guidance to make it through the difficult periods of their lives. The results of this research and the recommendations arising from it need to be taken seriously by all of us in society and in public service interested in building a better society.

"One in four adults and one in three children in Irish society, North and South, suffer poverty. It destroys lives, reduces the human capacity to create and achieve and blights communities for generations. The better off you are, the healthier you are; the longer you can expect to live; and the less likely you are to spend the later years of your life suffering from chronic disease or disability.

"The Executive's Investing for Health strategy, for which I had the priveledge of being lead Minister, recognises that poorer families have less money to spend on the key physical determinants that effect health - such as good food and comfortable housing. They live and work in more difficult conditions. They lead more stressful lives.

"We need to do more to eradicate poverty and to break the cycle of ill health, low achievement, high unemployment and debt that affect the most vulnerable in our society." ENDS

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