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Sinn Féin calls for North West to be designated area of special economic need

17 September, 2004

Sinn Féin National Chairperson, Foyle MLA Mitchel McLaughlin has called on both the Dublin and British Governments to designate the North West Region of Ireland an area of special economic need.

Speaking after it was announced that Fruit of the Loom was to make over 600 workers redundant at its Derry and Donegal plants Mr McLaughlin said:

"The North West area of Ireland has been haemorrhaging jobs at an unacceptable rate over the past twenty years yet both Governments seem impervious to the situation.

"I will be asking both Governments to designate the North West region of Ireland an area of special economic need that would allow for the region to become more competitive in attracting new industries.

"The infrastructure of both Derry and Donegal is antiquated and has been neglected over many years and needs rapid investment to improve it rail, road, air and sea links if we are to compete in the global market.

"This area of special needs would also need to have special status in terms of tax incentives to attract new industries.

"I would also call on Fruit of the Loom to implement a retraining scheme for its employees as part of the working week. This would prepare those people who are facing redundancy to retrain and gain other skills while maintaining their current job." ENDS

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