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Bairbre de Brún to meet with community groups and under threat Irish newspaper in Donegal

10 December, 2004

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has been meeting with a number of community groups throughout Co Donegal this morning. As part of her series of meetings, Ms de Brún will meet with staff members from the Irish language daily newspaper LÁ this afternoon at their offices in Gweedore.

Ms de Brún will discuss funding cuts with staff from the newspaper, which remains under threat due to recent funding decisions.

The Sinn Féin Councillor Pearse Doherty and Grainne Mhic Géidigh, Sinn Féin candidate in the upcoming Údarás na Gaeltachta election will accompany Ms de Brún on her visit.

Speaking from Donegal, Ms de Brún said:

"Throughout the course of the day I will be meeting with various community groups including resource centres and youth projects to find out about the work that they are involved in. Donegal experiences high levels of deprivation and unemployment - similar to my own constituency of west Belfast.

"It is absolutely imperative that we begin to address the neglect and isolation felt by many people within the county. The unemployment rate in Donegal continues to sit at around 16%, which is around 4 times the national average.

"I will be meeting with staff from the Irish language newspaper LÁ, to discuss recent funding cuts which threaten the very existence of the newspaper, an important vehicle for cultural expression. At a time when negotiations are underway to give due recognition the status of the Irish language in the European Union, it is unacceptable that the very existence of this newspaper is threatened by a political decision to reduce funding.

"Sinn Féin is committed to both preserving and developing the status of the Irish language throughout Ireland. This is particularly important in a county such as Donegal, which proudly boasts a thriving Gaeltacht area". ENDS

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