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Bairbre de Brún presses Hain for progress on peace dividend

6 February, 2006

Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today reiterated the party's demand for a peace dividend. Ms de Brún said that the British Government 'cannot simply pay lip service to political progress without a practical commitment to building the peace'.

Ms de Brún attended today's talks as part of the Sinn Féin delegation at Hillsborough with Peter Hain and Dermot Ahern in a bid to restore the political institutions.

Speaking after the meeting Ms de Brún said:

"Whilst much of the focus of today's talks was on the need for a publicly stated timeframe for ending suspension of the political institutions, we also discussed with both the British and Irish Governments the delivery of a peace dividend.

"Sinn Féin has long argued for a comprehensive package to address decades of British Government neglect and under investment in the North. I raised this issue specifically with Peter Hain at today's talks. There is now a clear need for the British Government to face up to its responsibilities.

"Years of under funding have damaged every part of our infrastructure - our roads, schools, hospitals, railways and sewerage. There is also a damming legacy of discrimination, inequality and disadvantage that must be tackled. The solution is not to increase the tax burden on people here through water charges and rates increases but for the British government to accept its responsibility to compensate for this historic under

"Sinn Féin will continue to challenge the British government on its responsibilities. They cannot pay lip service to promoting political progress, without demonstrating a practical commitment to cementing the peace." ENDS

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