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Foster must make her position clear on sale of NIE to ESB

21 September, 2010 - by Jennifer McCann

Sinn Féin MLA, Jennifer McCann who sits on the Enterprise, Trade and Investment  committee stated that the Unionist parties need to get real and accept economic realities of the 21st Century. This follows comments from both leaders of the UUP and DUP opposing the proposed purchase of the NIE grid by ESB.

Speaking today Ms McCann said:

“The adopted position of the unionist parties, opposing the proposed purchase of the NIE grid by ESB, is the politics of a bygone era. It is predicated on misinformation and playing the unionist card that any involvement from the South of Ireland in the North is bad news.

“This is the same mentality that built the first motorway in the North halfway through Co. Tyrone, instead of to Dublin, where one would consider the natural linkage to be, between the two main cities on the island.

“It is high time the unionist parties woke up and accepted the economic realities of the 21st century. We already have an energy network shared across the island, NAMA has had an impact on the north, and the Irish government has invested millions in the north's infrastructure over the past number of years.

“The idea of splendid isolation will serve nobody in the north.  Building arguments on mistruths that the Irish Government will control our energy supply is wrong. ESB is an independent company, owned by the Irish government not operated by them.

“What we need to see now is what is the position of the Minister for Enterprise, Trade and Investment. Is Arlene Foster going to oppose this move along party lines or is she going to act to see a company, which has stated they will invest heavily in the current energy infrastructure in the north, entering the market to the benefit of customers.

“The Minister must come forward now and make her position on this issue clear.”

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