Irish Unity Makes Sense – Adams
Sinn Féin President and Louth TD this evening hosted a Sinn Féin conference in the Crowne Plaza Hotel Dundalk on the theme of Irish Unity.
Entitled ‘A better future through unity’ the conference included a panel of economic experts included Dr John Bradley who was for many years a Research Professor at the Economic and Social Research Institute (ESRI) in Dublin; Michael Burke an economist and economic consultant; and Maggie Lennon who is Founder and Director of the Bridges Programmes and national executive member of the Scottish National Party.
The event focussed on the delivery of social and economic renewal in Louth and the potential of a single All-Ireland economy and what it could deliver in terms of greater prosperity and growth in our constituency.
The Louth TD said:
“Prosperity is good for all of our people. Unionist leaders must see this. The new leader or leaders of the DUP will have to grasp this challenge along with the rest of us.”
Gerry Adams also pointed to the economic, social and political difficulties which partition creates. He said:
“On Monday evening, I attended a meeting organised by the Irish Farmers Association on the issue of rural crime. There was significant anger.
“Until we get rid of the border, we must build common sense cross-border arrangements to protect citizens.
“There is a need for practical cross-border policing practices to tackle criminality. This requires greater co-operation between An Garda Síochána and the PSNI. For example, the recent Stormont House Agreement specifically calls for the establishment of a Joint Agency Task Force – a strategic oversight group and an operations co-ordination group as a suite of measures needed to tackle border gangs.
“It is not only the people of Louth who face these challenges. Every single person living on both sides of the 300 miles of the border are affected by the economic, social, policing and other difficulties it creates. An integrated all-Ireland approach would remove these.”
The Sinn Féin leader also set out measures Sinn Féin will introduce as part of a coherent strategy of building a sustainable, prosperous economy and a democratic united Ireland.
Teachta Adams said:
“As an interim step towards the full integration of public services, Sinn Féin is seeking to ensure that departments in both jurisdictions work together to develop the joint delivery of public services.
“We want to establish a single, economic department and agency for Ireland, North and South, and implement an all-Ireland investment and jobs strategy.
“We want to develop a Border Economic Development Zone to stabilise economic growth in the border region and to increase employment.
“Sinn Féin will publish an Integrated Economic Data Strategy for Ireland to support the integration of public services.
“We want to upgrade infrastructure across the island.
Sinn Féin’s plans also include; building SMEs to ensure that they deliver their full potential; developing agriculture, food and fish processing on an island-wide basis; and developing and implementing an integrated strategy for tourism and recreation.”