Sinn Féin - On Your Side

A new deal for rural Ireland

18 November, 2003

o share a common agenda that benefits our all of our farming industry and all our rural communities. At the heart of this is an understanding that being tied to British policy decisions has been bad for local farmers. That being categorised along with the British farming industry has been catastrophic.

Southern Agriculture Spokesperson, Kerry North TD Martin Ferris added:

"It was Sinn Féin that went to Brussels in May to negotiate with Fishler's Cabinet and other members of the commission. We took the decision to back Full Decoupling and the Irish government followed suit.

"It is vital that we now have an all-Ireland approach to CAP reform. It is the only way to get the best deal for all farming sectors across this island. We need all--Ireland representation in Europe. Sinn Féin will deliver this.

"Sinn Féin will also commission a rural white paper, with a strong all-Ireland dimension. We are arguing for anchange. Sinn Féin believe in decentralisation and would bring these civil servants out into areas such as West of the Bann into direct and daily contact with farmers and rural communities.

"We are committed to immediately lifting the beef export ban. 80,000 jobs here depend on a prosperous economically driven processing sector. Selling a unique brand on the world stage - Irish produce -- puts us in a stronger position to safeguard these jobs.

Pat O'Rawe, mayor of Armagh and Newry Armagh candidate added:

"We will deliver an all--Ireland agricultural policy. The practical outworking of this is an all-Ireland animal health policy now. Brucellosis and Tuberculosis must be tackled, and done so in a cost-effective manner.

"Sinn Féin has led the way in arguing that keeping this island GM free is important not just in terms of the unknown risks in contaminating our environment but also to build on the internationally recognised clean green image of Ireland.

"Women in agriculture have been forgotten, we will support the role of women in agriculture and establish a permanent Women in Agriculture section within a Department of Agriculture."

West Belfast candidate Bairbre de Brún concluded:

"CAP reform and the consequences of EU enlargement demand a new partnership between government, the farming industry and rural communities. It demands a new partnership across this island. Divided we weaken our negotiating hand when these issues are discussed, particularly in Europe.

"During the three days at the National Ploughing championships in Co Meath, hundreds of farmers told us 'we need you to represent us, no other political party has'. Sinn Féin will not let the farming community down." ENDS

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