Doherty sets out Sinn Féin agenda for the North West Region
Sinn Féin Vice President Pat Doherty MP speaking in Derry this morning following a meeting of the party's elected representatives from the North West - Donegal, Derry, Tyrone, Sligo, Leitrim and Fermanagh - said that radical and dramatic action was urgently required to bring about the economic and political regeneration of the North West. Mr. Doherty issued a call to action and called on people throughout the North West to work together to ensure its needs were put at the top of the political agenda. Mr. Doherty said:
"For the last number of years Sinn Féin has been to the fore in campaigning for the regeneration of the North West and for bringing together agencies and elected representatives in these six counties to work together to make this happen. We organised a number of economic conferences and initiatives and worked hard within our communities, in the Assembly and in Leinster House. Today Sinn Féin representatives in the North West met as a group to step up this work.
"There is a lot of anger and frustration that despite the bounty created for some by the Celtic Tiger economy and the peace dividends of recent years serious underdevelopment persists in the North West region while newly-generated wealth remains concentrated on the eastern seaboard. We all know that poor road quality, lack of sufficient energy and telecommunication facilities are serious deterrents to investment in the Northwest but little has been done by the Irish or British governments and indeed their partitionist approach has seriously exacerbated the problem.
"Sinn Féin has been working for an all-island solution to the structural discrimination of the North West. What is required is a strategy to create and develop an efficient and effective infrastructure, including a proper road and rail network, telecommunications and education services for the region.
"Radical and dramatic action is urgently required to bring about the economic and political regeneration of the North West. We need to harness the political will, which exists to ensure delivery on the long-promised investment, infrastructure, and job creation. I want to make a call to action and call on people throughout the North West to work together to ensure its needs are put at the top of the political agenda."ENDS
Sinn Féin agenda 2003 for the North West
· We demand the re-establishment of the political institutions in the Six Counties and demand that the Irish government moves forward on Northern representation in the Oireachtas
· Mayor of Sligo Sean MacManus will host a major economic conference later this year which will bring together all of the chairs and mayors of councils in the North West and INI, IDA and Intertrade Ireland. This will be followed by a conference in Omagh in the spring, which will also include community groups.
· We will meet with the Irish and British governments and campaign in Brussels on proposals surrounding infrastructure, rural regeneration, investment and jobs for the North West.
· We will reach out to unionism both in terms of re-building the peace process and building new relationships on the island for the future.
· We will campaign to expand the work of the All Ireland implementation bodies
· We will support the demand for truth on collusion
· We will work with communities across Ireland in support of rural regeneration and an end to the withdrawal of essential services.
· We will campaign for an end to international calls on the island for fixed and mobile communication.