Gerry Adams to lead Sinn Féin delegation to National Ploughing Championships
Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams MP is attending the opening of the 75th Annual Ploughing Championships in Tullow, Co Carlow this morning. He is joined by a large Sinn Féin delegation including the party's agriculture spokespersons Martin Ferris TD and Michelle Gildernew MP, local Carlow/Kilkenny general election candidate Kathleen Funchion and Sinn Féin councillors John Dwyer (Wexford) and John Brady (Wicklow).
Mr Adams will be available to talk to the media at 11.30am at the Sinn Féin stall at Stand 235, Row L.
Speaking ahead of the event Mr Adams said: "The number of organisations, businesses and groups that have taken stalls at the Championships this year is indicative of the strength and vibrancy that remains in rural communities. This is all the more creditable when we appreciate the decline in family farming and the lack of substantial investment in rural areas.
"Government indifference to the plight of rural communities, combined with an urban-centric economic development policy, has led to a massive demographic shift in Ireland's population over the last four decades. Communities have been forced to wage decades long campaigns for access to healthcare, as at Monaghan Hospital, or access to public transport, as with the West-on-Track campaign.
"Sinn Féin believes we need a more even distribution of economic growth and investment, and real decentralisation, not just of civil servants, but of power and resources. We need to maximise the potential that exists in the bio-energy sector for farmers to tackle energy poverty, reduce our dependence on fossil fuels, and to ensure security of energy supply.
"But we also need to listen. Too often the people furthest from the corridors of power in Dublin are ignored, misunderstood and misrepresented by an urban political and media establishment. Events like this are an opportunity for that ignorance to be confronted and I am delighted to be able to attend today with my party colleagues."