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Sinn Féin urge major EU conference to recognise potential of all-Ireland Agenda

2 December, 2004


Sinn Féin Spokesperson on All Ireland Development, Omagh councillor Barry McElduff MLA speaking at a major conference on 'North South political relations in the 21st century' organised by the Confederation of European Councillors in the Killyhevlin Hotel, Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh on 2nd and 3rd December has said that 'partition has damaged communities, it is time that we build the momentum for greater harmonisation and co-operation to overcome this damage and it is time that we tackled the waste and inefficiency created by maintaining two bureaucracies across this small island.'.

Cllr McElduff said:

"Sinn Féin is committed to achieving full national and democratic rights for all the people of Ireland. Sinn Fein has an All Ireland parliamentary group. We demand much more by way of recognising the rights of northern citizens within the South. There needs to progress on rights for northern elected representatives in the Oireachtas and voting rights in presidential elections.

"On this small island of 5 million people it is sheer folly that we have two competing bureaucracies. Partition has damaged communities, it is time that we build the momentum for greater harmonisation and co-operation to overcome this damage and it is time that we tackled the waste and inefficiency created by maintaining two bureaucracies across this small island.

"Greater harmonisation and co-operation can release more money for frontline services and for investment in our infrastructure. It is important not just for Sinn Fein but to everyone on this island that we see the fullest development possible of the all-Ireland arrangements and institutions.

"It is also important to emphasis and recognise just how negative the impact of the border and partition has been in terms of social and economic development. It has directly impacted on the quality of life for everyone and it has damaged businesses.

"There is a growing recognition among policy makers and business leaders that balanced development demands the strengthening of economic and social cohesion by promoting and deepening all-Ireland integration. This requires the long term development of the range, remit and number of all-Ireland implementation bodies and areas of co-operation." ENDS

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