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Sinn Féin Agriculture department set for major engagement with EU

28 February, 2005

A Sinn Féin delegation including Agriculture Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew, head of Sinn Féin's national Agriculture and Rural Regeneration Department, Mayor of Fermanagh Councillor Gerry McHugh will join 6 County MEP Bairbre de Brún for a programme of meetings in Brussels.

Speaking ahead of the 2-day visit Michelle Gildernew said:

"There are many key developments, particularly at EU level, that impact on the long term future of Irish agriculture and fishing.

"Sinn Féin is determined to secure the best outcome for our fishing and farming communities. This demands sustained engagement with officials in Europe.

"This visit is the next stage in a programme of work that encompasses working with rural communities that depend on farming, fishing and the new EU framework for rural regeneration and working with the British and Irish governments to develop a strong All Ireland approach to all of these issues and in particular to the way in which EU regulations are implemented.

"Our priorities are to make progress on the lifting of the Beef Ban in the Six Counties; on addressing and reassessing the impact of quotas on Irish fishing; and on the impact of the nitrates/water framework and rural development regulations.

"We will use these engagements with EU officials to stimulate a wider debate within Ireland about how we can secure the best deal for the future of our rural communities." ENDS

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