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Sinn Féin call for progress on all-Ireland tourism agenda

3 July, 2006


Sinn Féin Fermanagh South Tyrone MLA Thomas O'Reilly speaking after meeting the Permanent Secretary of the Department of Culture, Arts and Leisure, Paul Sweeney, has said that both the Rally Ireland bid to stage a round of the World Rally Championship and the re-opening of the Ulster Canal represent important steps forward in the regeneration of border communities and the development of the tourism potential of areas like Fermanagh and Sligo.

Speaking after the meeting Mr O'Reilly said:

"There is clearly significant support for the Rally Ireland bid to stage a round of the World Rally Championship. With a decision due in a number of days it is time for all of us supporting the bid to make the final push. Success with this bid will bring huge economic benefits to a number of border counties.

"However, as the tragic deaths on our roads this weekend has shown us we cannot and should not be complacent about road safety. I believe that this would also give us an opportunity to work, particularly with young people on the ground, to deliver the road safety message. I would also hope to see greater resources invested in making the rural road network safer, particularly in designing out accident black spots."

Mr O'Reilly also raised the re-opening of the Ulster Canal and the roll out of the Single Library Authority with Mr Sweeney.

Mr O'Reilly said:

"It is disappointing that while an important all-Ireland project like the Rally Ireland bid has widespread and high level political support that an equally important initiative in the re-opening of the Ulster Canal has been bogged down because of internal opposition. Yet, this project has huge potential in helping the regeneration of border communities and the development of the tourism.

"I also urged Mr Sweeney to look at a venue West of the Bann as the potential Headquarters for the new Single Library Authority." ENDS

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