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Rural White paper was a Sinn Féin manifesto commitment

1 May, 2008

Sinn Féin Agriculture Spokesperson, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty has said that Sinn Féin made a Rural White Paper a manifesto commitment because it was seen as a key way to protect and promote the long term future of rural communities.

Mr Doherty said:

"Sinn Féin made a commitment to a Rural White Paper that would take into account the needs of all those living and working in rural areas.

"The Minister Michelle Gildernew is now moving this forward and has secured the backing of the Executive and is working with all of the rural stakeholders to make this a reality.

"Sinn Féin is committed to keeping farming families on the land and ensuring a good quality of life for everyone living in rural communities.

"We believe that agriculture and fishing in Ireland can be made sustainable within the context of an all-Ireland agricultural and fisheries policy. We want to encourage viable rural communities with a strong community infrastructure and equal access to all public services.

"Central to this is a Rural White Paper that recognises the need to take the all-Ireland approach and the need to Champion the rural way of life. This means that we move to a position where rural issues become a key focus in the policy making process across all Government departments and agencies." ENDS

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