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Mary Lou McDonald launches bilingual Sinn Féin EU website and announces details of EU conference

24 August, 2006


Sinn Féin National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP has today launched Sinn Féin's new European Union website and also announced details of a one day EU conference on the future of 'Social Europe' in Dublin on September 9th.

Ms McDonald was joined at today's launch in the European Parliament Office, Dublin by Aengus Ó Snodaigh TD and Dublin City Councillor Larry O'Toole.

Speaking today Ms McDonald said:

"Today's launch of both our new European website and the announcement of an EU conference in September is part of Sinn Féin's commitment to engage with a wide range of people regarding the European Union.

"Sinn Féin has always been to the forefront in making use of technology as both education and resource tools. Today's launch of our tri-lingual European Union website is about providing our constituents with information on our policies, latest news, video footage and podcasts from both I and my colleague Bairbre de Brún.

"I am pleased to announce that the website can be accessed and navigated by English, Irish and French speakers and complies with disability and accessibility standards. Sinn Féin's commitment to the Irish language and its continued development will ensure that the website will be fully bi-lingual. Given that Irish will become a full and working language of the European Union in January 2007 it is important to demonstrate our continued support for this important initiative in a practical way.

"Next months conference entitled 'Another Europe Is Possible' will address some of the very many inadequacies and inequalities which exist within the EU. The EU faces very many challenges in the time ahead, not least addressing its fundamental democratic and communication deficit, the issues of poverty, privatization and workers rights. A number of discussions will take place on the day including a focus on the promotion of workers' rights in the EU at a time when they remain under serious threat.

"Other issues under discussion will include the 'Future of Social Europe' and will culminate with a debate between myself and Pronsias de Rossa MEP on the premise that 'Another Europe is Possible'.

"It is hoped that this conference will add to the debate which is already under way on promoting a radically different EU. The present EU is one obsessed with increasing its military capacity, expanding its nuclear stock and prioritizing economic growth at the expense of all else. Our vision is one which emphasizes the protection of our environment and people - particularly the most vulnerable within society and promotes a progressive human rights and equality agenda. This remains a challenge for us all. " ENDS

Note to Editor: The website can be accessed at www.sfguengl.com

The one day conference will take place in Liberty Hall on Saturday 9th September and speakers will include Mary Lou McDonald MEP, Bairbre de Brún

MEP, Proinsias De Rossa MEP, Mitchel McLaughlin MLA, Brendan Hayes (SIPTU), Patricia Mc Keown (Unison), Mick O Reilly (ATGWU), Phillip

O'Connor (European Anti Poverty Network) and Martin Territt (European Commission Representation in Ireland).

Attendance is open to both the public and media. If you wish to register for the conference please email [email protected]

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