Ireland's future is within the European Union - O'Neill
Sinn Féin MLA Michelle O'Neill has said the future of Ireland's farming and rural communities is within the European Union.
The Agriculture Minister said;
"Ireland has benefitted greatly from its membership of the European Union and the agricultural sector and rural communities have been among the main beneficiaries.
"Our agriculture industry and rural communities continue to reap the benefits of European Union membership through the Rural Development Programme.
"Together with match funding, the total invested since the scheme began will surpass £1 billion by 2020.
"The European Fisheries Fund has made a significant contribution to our commercial fishing and coastal communities with more than £9 million coming from Europe.
"The benefits of our membership of the European Union are clear for all to see. They are all around us in our rural communities.
"Those who advocate a withdrawal from the European Union cannot possibly ignore them. Nor can they provide a reasonable or viable alternative as a way of supporting our farming and rural communities.
“The funding and support provided by the European Union to agricultural and rural communities is vital and irreplaceable.
"Simply put, our place and the place for our farming and rural communities is in the European Union."