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Sinn Féin welcome signing of memorandum on All Ireland Energy Market

25 August, 2004


Sinn Féin national chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has welcomed the signing of the Memorandum of Understanding by the both the South's Commissioner for Energy Regulation, Tom Reeves, and his Six County counterpart.

Mr McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin believe that there is a huge potential in the development of not just a single energy market on the island of Ireland but in greater harmonisation across a number of areas. We look forward to the development of joint management structures that will deliver a programme of work that can meet the timescale of creating an all-island energy market by July 2007.

"There is a growing consciousness that the well-being, in some cases the survival, of specific sectors will depend on delivery on an All Ireland basis. There are also real savings that can be made by removing duplication, in pooling resources and in developing economies of scale. Failing to deliver efficiency and cost effectiveness savings that can come from harmonisation can only be driven by political short sightedness.

"The experience of the workings of All Ireland structures has been positive. Representatives from all political perspectives have acknowledged the benefits of an integrated island wide approach. The latent potential and pressing need for further development has been acknowledged by the All-Ireland Ministerial Council and by other stakeholders in society, including the agricultural, educational and business sectors.

"Sinn Fein believe that the expansion of the areas of co-operation is indispensable in areas where most serious common problems face Ireland North and South (in particular in Health, Education and Transport). An all Ireland approach also is increasingly vital in the face of the current and developing political realities of an Ireland within the EU especially in the areas of Agriculture, the Environment and Tourism." ENDS

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