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Direct Rule absence from crucial fishing talks - 'indictment of direct rule'

21 December, 2005


Sinn Féin Agriculture and Rural Development Spokesperson, Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew has said that the absence of direct rule Minster Jeff Rooker from crucial EU talks on fishing quotas is an indictment on the cost of direct rule.

Ms Gildernew said:

"The absence of Jeff Rooker from these crucial EU talks on fishing quotas is an indictment on the cost of direct rule. It is cost that will be felt by fishing communities who will rightly say that British Direct Rule has abandoned them. But the impact will be far reaching. Fishing is still of huge economic importance to many of our rural communities.

"On key issues direct rule ministers have sold us short and on others such as CAP reform the interests of Tony Blair run against what is best for our own farming communities.

"The sooner we can get the institutions back up and running the better. It is the only way that we take decisions in the interests of people here and not mandarins in Whitehall.

"Fishing in particular is not well served by the approach of the British government. There is a strong case, when comparing the investment in the fishing industry made by the Irish government, that our interests would be better served within a single all-Ireland approach to sustaining and developing our industry.

"It is interesting to hear the DUP complain about the cost of direct rule. They know what they need to do in the interests of the fishing community here. They need to engage and work to get the institutions back up and running." ENDS



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