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Sinn Féin delegation to raise alternatives to economic crisis at British Labour conference

24 September, 2011 - by Pat Sheehan, Westminster, Mary Lou McDonald TD

On Sunday Sinn Féin Vice President Mary Lou McDonald TD and West Belfast MP Paul Maskey will travel to Liverpool to address a number of meetings and events at the British Labour Conference. The Sinn Fein delegation will also meet key organisations of the city’s Irish community.

The party will host a fringe meeting, `Ireland and Britain – towards a new relationship’ on Sunday at 6pm, sharing a platform with Labour's Lord's spokesperson on Ireland Angela Smith, also a former Minister, and Labour MP Pamela Nash, who is part of Labour’s team in relation to the north.

Ms McDonald will also address an Agreed Ireland Forum fringe later that evening on the current economic and debt crisis.

Speaking from Dublin before leaving for Liverpool, Mary Lou McDonald said:

“We welcome the opportunity of the conference to engage with people from the British labour movement on a number of key issues of concern.

“The current economic crisis, ever deepening as we speak, highlights the urgent need for an alternative way forward. Clearly policies in Ireland and in Britain of cuts and austerity have only served to exacerbate the crisis, strangling any prospect of growth.

“The human cost is devastating lives, throwing millions into poverty and unemployment. Developing a dialogue on this is vital. The  positive huge response to Sinn Féin's approach of investment to stimulate growth as a way out of the crisis instead of attacking living standards, shows how much people want a progressive alternative way forward. This has been exemplified in the imact Martin McGuinness' candidacy for President has had. We hope to discuss our approach further in the coming days.”

Paul Maskey MP said:

“The future relationship between Britain and Ireland remains firmly on the agenda. The immense progress in recent years has to be both defended and built upon. We are hosting the fringe meeting as an opportunity to discuss some of the key issues, including Ireland’s constitutional future and the social, economic and political dynamics underpinning that.

“We will also be visiting Liverpool’s Irish Centre and other community groups within the city. We are delighted to take the opportunity of being in there to meet people and discuss issues of concern to them.”

The delegation will also attend a series of other event hosted by the Irish Embassy, the CHAMP pro-peace process group and the Labour Irish Society.

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