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Sinn Féin calls for Irish membership of CERN – Quinlivan

3 October, 2017 - by Maurice Quinlivan TD

Sinn Féin’s Spokesperson on Business, Enterprise and Innovation, Maurice Quinlivan TD, today called on the Irish government to allocate funding for Ireland to join CERN, the scientific research organisation which counts the invention of the World Wide Web and the discovery of the Higgs Boson particle among its many achievements.

Deputy Quinlivan’s call comes as Sinn Féin launched their Alternative Budget for 2018, which includes funding for Irish membership of CERN.

Speaking today, Teachta Quinlivan said;

“I am delighted to say that Sinn Féin has allocated funding for Ireland to join CERN in our alternative budget this year.

“We recognise the incredible work this organisation does, and we’ve taken note of the benefits membership could bring, as outlined by academics, industry representatives and teacher organisations.

“By becoming a member, Irish companies would have the ability to bid for scientific contracts worth in excess of €300 million per annum. It would also provide opportunities for scientists and students to work at CERN and access information and projects currently being undertaken.

“Ireland is the only Western European country that is not a member of this organisation and we see this as an investment as membership fees could be recouped via the significant reputational, scientific and industrial advantages in joining CERN, specifically as SMEs would be able to tender for general procurement contracts and contracts in niche hi-tech areas.

“The Institute of Physics in Ireland outlined that ‘many contracts are in areas that map onto well-established high-tech industry in Ireland, in particular, computing, software engineering, electronics and devices. Some of the world’s most important ICT companies have a significant presence in Ireland, including Google, IBM, Intel, HP and Microsoft, while the country has developed considerable expertise in electronics, vacuum technology, detectors and imaging.’

“In 2014, the Department of Jobs, Enterprise and Innovation, carried out a Review of Irish Membership of International Research Organisations, including membership of CERN. It concluded that ‘the case for joining CERN would be a strong one, if satisfactory membership conditions could be achieved at around the same cost as associate membership’.

“Therefore, we have allocated money for Ireland to become an associate member now, with a view to becoming a full member in time if membership proves fruitful and the financial resources become available in the near future.” 

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