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de Brún welcomes beginning of 'Rural Life Week'

20 March, 2006


Sinn Féin MEP Bairbre de Brún has today welcomed the beginning of Rural Life Week as a 'celebration of the enormous contribution made towards creating a sustainable rural and agricultural sector across Ireland'.

Rural Life Week will see a series of events and activities aimed at raising awareness around the huge contribution made by community groups, the farming community and continued European Union support.

Speaking today Ms de Brún said:

"I want to take this opportunity to throw my full support behind 'Rural Life Week,' as a celebration of the enormous contribution made towards creating a sustainable rural and agricultural sector.

"Continued financial support from the European Union is essential if we are to continue to develop and sustain rural communities. Late last year I travelled to Britain to participate in a conference to discuss the EU's Regional and Rural Development programmes for 2007-2013. The message I took to the event was the need for a bottom up approach to the design and implementation of the next round of programmes to ensure maximum local community and sectoral input. We also require a set of properly funded programmes to ensure that areas are not left behind as the economy continues to develop and improve.

"The events of this week should provide the impetus to address the continuing disparities faced by rural communities in Ireland in relation to the provision of services, support for the farming communities and addressing social issues.

"My hope is that this week long series of events will raise the profile of the sector. What we require is the promotion of a pro-rural agenda which positively promotes the work undertaken to deliver first class services to our rural communities." ENDS

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