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Ferris - Sinn Féin will lead fight for rural Ireland

20 February, 2003

Sinn Féin Spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development Martin Ferris TD is to address a conference organised by South Leinster Sinn Féin in New Ross this Saturday. The conference is the latest in a series of meetings held by the party throughout the country to update its policies on agriculture and rural development. This will culminate in a wide-ranging debate at the party's Ard Fheis at the end of March, and the preparation of a new policy document.

Deputy Ferris said:

"I am delighted to have been asked to speak at this conference which will be attended by dozens of Sinn Féin representatives and activists from the South Leinster area. The plight of rural communities is one of the key problems facing us at this present time, and Sinn Féin is at the forefront of the fight against the erosion of family farming, the running down of schools and public services and the poverty and isolation that follows from this.

"For too long the political establishment has taken the political allegiances of people in rural Ireland for granted. Now, after generations of neglect, they are being forced to take notice because of the election of Sinn Féin TDs and Councillors and of a large number of independents. What underlies this sea change is the realisation that not only have the majority of people in rural Ireland not benefited from the so-called Celtic Tiger, but that they, along with working class communities in the cities and towns, are now going to be made bear the brunt of Government cut backs.

"Republicans have always stood in the vanguard of the fight for a decent life for rural communities. Now, as the fastest growi rural communities have the right to expect to be able to live and work where they were born if that is their wish and it is the responsibility of the state to ensure that they are given the same level of provision of services as any other citizen."ENDS

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