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Ferris meets Wexford bio-fuel producers

26 September, 2006

Sinn Féin's Agriculture spokesperson Martin Ferris TD is in Wexford this morning where along with Wexford Sinn Féin Councillor John Dwyer he will visit Wexford bio-fuel producers as part of the campaign for the retention of an Irish sugar industry and for the retention of the sugar plants in Mallow and Carlow for the production of bio-fuels. Deputy Ferris will launch a Sinn Féin discussion document at the Ploughing Championships on Thursday entitled, 'The case for keeping an Irish sugar industry.'

Speaking prior to the meeting Deputy Ferris said, "The asset stripping of this successful public enterprise and the huge profits made by Greencore from the closures at the Mallow and Carlow sugar plants was nothing short of a disgrace. What added insult to injury was that the Government, who maintained a golden share in the company, stood idly by and allowed this to happen.

"The sugar plants at Mallow and Carlow should be maintained for the production of ethanol as a bio-fuel. This would help us to meet our European requirements that bio fuel replaces 5.75% of petrol imports by 2010 and, more importantly, it would maintain an Irish sugar industry and provide a stable income for growers and producers in Ireland. At a time when the rural way of life and farming are coming under such intense pressure we cannot afford to throw away this strategic crop.

"The government have the power through the golden share to negotiate for the transfer to the state of these plants at a reasonable price. What is needed now is political will, the will to maintain and build on this traditional Irish industry." ENDS

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