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Sinn Féin to attend the National Ploughing championships in County Meath

15 September, 2003


Speaking after the announcement that for the first time ever Sinn Féin will open a party stand at the All Ireland Ploughing Championship in Meath, Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson, Cllr Gerry McHugh said:

"The National Ploughing Championships has for many decades been an important shop window for Irish Agriculture. As the only all-Ireland political party, Sinn Féin wants to extend an invitation to those attending the event to visit the Sinn Féin stand.

"Ireland as a food producer, and a food exporting country, is facing huge change at present, through CAP reform and the global competition. If Ireland is to have a future agriculture and food industry, it is vital to take into account the needs of the rural community. Without immediate and proactive policies in terms of supporting the development of a strong agricultural and agri-business base in rural areas, their decline will continue to the detriment of the nation as a whole.

"High profile members of the party will attend and will be seeking people's views on all issues with a view to lobbying on their behalf in Europe and elsewhere. In particular, the party is committed to pursuing progressive agendas in terms of changes to EU Structural Funds, the whole issue of Funding after 2006, Food Safety and the threats from Genetically Engineered Foods and Waste Incineration.

"Agriculture and Agri-business are key elements to the Irish economy, North and South. It is vital that we develop all-Ireland Agricultural Policies and Strategies for future food production. Sinn Féin would like to see the island build on our existing clean green image of high quality, safe food production meeting changing consumer needs - it is clear that this can only be delivered on the basis of an all island-based approach." ENDS

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