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‘SF committed to island communities’ - Doherty

17 November, 2010 - by Pearse Doherty TD

Sinn Féin’s commitment to island communities has been demonstrated by the party’s record in government in the North, Donegal Senator Pearse Doherty has declared.

Senator Doherty added that Sinn Féin was particularly concerned at the neglect of island communities off the coast of Donegal but that the experience of Rathlin Island in the North showed what can be achieved.

“Since coming into office, Sinn Féin Minister Conor Murphy had demonstrated his commitment to improving island life for the people of Rathlin and has championed the development of an Executive Policy for the community there,” Senator Doherty commented.

“This policy is helping to develop a vibrant healthy Rathlin community and increase the involvement of islanders in the development of policies and projects which improve conditions for all of the people of the island while protecting its environment.

“As part of this policy, the Executive is implementing an action plan which contains a number of specific initiatives such as delivering a modern, affordable ferry service, ensuring islanders have equal access to health and education services and increasing employment opportunities through increased economic and tourism development

“This is having a real and meaningful impact for the people of Rathlin and that is the kind of initiative and commitment that Sinn Féin wants to see for all our island communities, north and south.

“It is only right that islanders receive access to public services that the rest of us often take for granted and Sinn Féin will seek to improve the conditions of all island peoples while also protecting natural and cultural heritage.

“We also need to give the people of Arannmore, Tory, Inishfree, Gola, and Inisboffin the means to return to a viable fishing industry. They must be given the chance to once again make a living from the seas and that will mean a significant reduction of the European restrictions and red tape which cripple so many island families seeking to make a living out of fishing.”

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