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North South Ministerial Council set for Derry

22 January, 2009 - by Maeve McLaughlin

Sinn Féin MLA Martina Anderson has said that the meeting of the North South Ministerial Council tomorrow in Derry is an opportunity to showcase the city.

Ms Anderson said,

"All the Ministers from the Assembly and the Irish Government will meet in Derry tomorrow to discuss a series of issues that concern both governments. This meeting will look for solutions to problems that affect both regions on an all Ireland basis and is an important part of the Good Friday Agreement.

"Tomorrow is an historic occasion for the city and an opportunity to showcase the region as one that is gearing itself up to meet the challenges of the 21st century.

"Derry is one of the major cities on the island and we have an opportunity to highlight the entire North West region in terms of what is needed to promote and develop the area.

"As Ministers travel from all over the island the first thing that they will realise is the lack of major transport infrastructure into the city and the opportunities that are lost due to this. The Irish government call see how partition has cut Derry off from its natural hinterland of Donegal and how that County was ignored during the Celtic Tiger years.

"The opportunities that exist in terms of the tourist industry and how the decline of manufacturing industry is now threatening the entire region are some of the other issues that can be raised.

"Sinn Féin is intent on maximising the opportunities afforded by this visit as we have arranged a series of engagements for our Ministers to attend before and after the meeting and we hope that this will be the start of a process of focusing minds on developing the entire North West region.

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