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Sinn Féin to host Farmers Forum in Greencastle

19 March, 2009 - by Martina Anderson MEP

Sinn Féin MP and party spokesperson on rural affairs, Pat Doherty, will host a Farmers Forum in Greencastle Community Centre on Thursday 26th March at 7.30pm.

The Forum will be addressed by Sinn Féin MEP, Bairbre de Brún and Conor Heaney, Special Adviser to the Minister for Agriculture and Rural Development, Michelle Gildernew MP.

Commenting ahead of the gathering, the West Tyrone MP said "As a member of the Agriculture & Rural Development committee in the Assembly, I am acutely aware of the major issues affecting the rural community. As such, I have taken the initiative of organising this meeting to provide farmers with a forum to speak directly to their MEP.

Mr Doherty added "Whilst the forum is geared towards the farming sector, I am conscious that the needs of rural dwellers are multi faceted and include matters such as planning and funding for rural community groups. To facilitate this, I have invited along individuals who can answer questions on rural planning (PPS21) and the Rural Development Programme - which will open for applications in the NW cluster area at the end of April.

In extending an invitation to all farmers and everyone involved in agri-businesses and the wider rural community, Mr Doherty said "Events like the Farmers Forum allow my party to engage directly with people at grassroots level and to take on board their needs and concerns.

"This meeting, which is scheduled to begin at 7.30pm, will act as a very powerful forum to help inform our party of the many issues of concern facing the rural community.

"The aim of the meeting is to ensure that the needs of the rural community are conveyed directly to those who have an influence on the key decisions affecting their community and I strongly encourage everyone who has an interest in rural affairs to attend".

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