Families and sustainable rural communities are a Sinn Féin priority - Bairbre de Brún
Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún is today attending the National Ploughing Championships in Co Cork.
Speaking from Cork Ms de Brún said:
"Sinn Féin is working in Europe, through our TDs, our Assembly team and our network of councillors across the island to see that the the framework for delivering money through the Rural Development Programmes is right and to ensure that there is a greater sense of urgency about the crisis facing farm families and rural communities.
"We want to see a genuine partnership between all of the rural stakeholders and the European institutions. In particular, we want Europe to stand by the deal made with farmers in 2002.
"Government, north and south, needs to commit itself to listening to our farm families and rural communities. Protecting the vested interests of a few agricultural and financial interests while neglecting the wider rural community is just not good enough.
"There is a crisis in rural Ireland. People who I have spoken to at the Ploughing Championships have argued that this crisis will only be tackled if there is a greater awareness of the realities of rural life and greater unity among the different and at times competing interests. Division allows our rural communities to be manipulated and played off against one another.
"People want to see a level playing field for their produce on the supermarket shelves, agreements reached honoured, and proper services provided to ensure sustainable rural communities. It is also important that we cut out as much of the red tape as possible because it is the red tape that is increasingly a problem. Together, with a united sense of purpose we can ensure that the rural voice is one that government in particular cannot continue to ignore." ENDS