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Bairbre de Brún to address European Asbestos Conference in Brussels

21 September, 2005

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún will tomorrow address a European Conference in the European Parliament in Brussels highlighting the issue of asbestos. The event entitled "European Asbestos Conference: Policy, Status and Human rights" will involve a political panel discussion where Ms de Brún will present a report on the current situation regarding asbestos in Ireland.

The conference has been organised by the GUE/NGL group in the European Parliament and will be attended by representatives from the European Commission, MEPs and health professionals as well as local campaigners from a number of European countries.

Speaking in advance of the conference Ms de Brún said:

"According to recent research more than 8,000 people are expected to die each year in Europe from 2015 onwards through asbestos related illnesses. Tomorrow's conference will seek to define the scope of Europe's problem and devise ways of remedying this.

"Ireland faces enormous problems regarding asbestos. Many commercial and domestic.

buildings, particularly older ones still have asbestos substances in them and communities such as those in Crumlin and Belfast are campaigning about the safety and transparency of planning applications for asbestos storage facilities. Many workers or their families still seek support and compensation for illness contracted at work and our health services need to plan for a major explosion of asbestos-related illness in the years ahead.

The conference will not only look at the cold hard statistics associated with asbestos, but will detail the experience of survivors, victims initiatives and the continuing fight for compensation." ENDS

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