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Sinn Féin MEP meets with farmers in South Armagh

9 February, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún today met with a number of farmers in the South Armagh area to discuss a number of issues relevant to the rural and agricultural community.

Speaking from South Armagh Ms de Brún said:

"Today I met with a number of farmers in the South Armagh area to discuss issues affecting them. The South Armagh area has suffered greatly over this past number of years as a result of both British military occupation and consistently low levels of inward investment.

"One of the main issues of discussion today was around the EU Nitrates Directive. Farmers are concerned at the implications of the directive for their livelihoods and future farming practices. Sinn Féin is calling for the capital grants for storage facilities to be increased by the British government.

"Farmers also raised fears of a possible cut in the single payment. This issue has now been raised at several different meetings with farmers and Sinn Féin will investigate these concerns urgently.

"During the course of today‚s meeting I reiterated Sinn Féin‚s commitment to an all-Ireland approach to agriculture. Farmers all along the border are suffering because of the two different sets of rules, and two different sets of direction in relation to agriculture. Many farmers own land on either side of the border and are at pains to stress that the approach to Irish farming must be on an all-Ireland basis if it is to be sustainable for the future." ENDS

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