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Gildernew - DUP Blind to the potential of the All Ireland Agenda

21 August, 2003


Sinn Féin MP for Fermanagh South Tyrone Michelle Gildernew has hit back at criticism of the North South Bodies from DUP MP Gregory Campbell.

Ms Gildernew said:

"Whatever the DUP believe the reality is that we have an All Ireland framework that is here to stay. It is in the Good Friday Agreement and it is given form through the All Ireland Implementation Bodies and the North South Ministerial Council.

"The DUP are blind to the potential of the All Ireland Agenda. This political short sightedness does not put the people living in Ireland first; it puts the blinkered political agenda of the DUP first.

"The All Ireland Implementation Bodies benefit people across Ireland and Sinn Féin want to see work programmes in the agreed areas of co-operation consolidated and expanded.

"In areas such as education and health can we open the doors of opportunity and the sharing of skill and expertise. We have also seen projects such as the Autism Centre being set up in the border region and the cancer research partnership between the north and south of Ireland and the USA that pool resources and expertise.

"In animal health and agriculture evidence is mounting that an All Ireland policy approach is vital to the long term viability of farming across the Ireland. On environmental issues it is clear that pollution and meeting the demands of waste management, including issues such as the building of incinerators, require a stronger All Ireland approach and Sinn Féin has called for the establishment of an All Ireland Environmental Protection Agency.

"It is illogical that a small island nation of slightly over 5 million people should have two political structures, two economies, two transport systems, two Education, Agriculture, Health, tourism systems. This duplication requires two bureaucracies that if challenged could I believe generate significant new money fore expenditure on front line services, investment and staff." ENDS

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