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Sinn Féin welcome introduction of free travel for elderly people on an all-Ireland basis

2 April, 2007

Sinn Féin MLA Raymond McCartney has welcomed the long-overdue introduction of free travel for elderly people on an all-Ireland basis which begins today.

Mr. McCartney said:

"It has been in the Programme for Government in the Dáil for time now and Sinn Féin has consistently called for the implementation of the scheme in the North.

"Free travel for pensioners on an all-Ireland basis has been a priority issue for Sinn Féin for some time now and I welcome today's introduction of free travel giving pensioners more mobility and independence than ever before.

"When Sinn Fein published our Charter for Older People 'Forget Me Not' last year the introduction of all-Ireland free travel was one of our key demands.

"Sinn Féin is committed to breaking down the barriers and borders that restrict and frustrate older people having active lives and playing their full role within our society.

"The decision by Department of Regional Development to fund the scheme shows the potential of North South co-operation which can benefit all the people across the island.

"This plan provides a fantastic opportunity for pensioners throughout Ireland to travel the length and breadth of the country without worrying about travel costs or the hindrance of the border and should have been introduced years ago.

"While this is welcome many older people, particularly in rural communities, will say with justification that we now need to see a commitment to deliver a transport network, a public transport network, that can be an essential component in battling isolation." ENDS

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