The Week in Review
19 – 26 May 2017
Michelle Gildernew launches SF Brexit, farming and Agri-Food policy document in Enniskillen
Michelle Gildernew MLA was joined in Enniskillen by MEP Matt Carthy on Thursday, to set out Sinn Féin’s proposals for the agriculture sector in the face of Brexit.
Speaking at the launch of Sinn Féin’s Brexit, Farming and Agri-Food policy document, Michelle Gildernew said:
“Brexit will spell disaster for the farming and agri-food sectors in Fermanagh South Tyrone. EU funding currently makes up 84% of total farm incomes in the North. This is a significant portion, and provides a lifeline for our farming communities.”
The Fermanagh-South Tyrone Westminster candidate outlined how an EU frontier across Ireland would prove highly disruptive: “At the moment 800 million litres (25%) of our milk travels south every year for processing and 10,000 live pigs travel here from the south every week. These trading routes represent the different processing capacities in different parts of the island and long established cooperation between farming communities.”
She continued, “Brexit and loss of access to the single market has been a major concern of the farming community since the vote last year. The cost of complying with two different regulatory regimes, having products certified by different bodies, and ensuring packaging meets two different sets of requirements would be disastrous for farmers. The proposals we are setting out this morning provide a number of ideas about how the worst effects of Brexit could be mitigated. They outline exactly how a designated special status for the North of Ireland would work in practice for the agriculture sector.
Turning to the Westminster Election Ms Gildernew pledged: “If elected on the 8th June, I will be your voice against Brexit, will fight for designated special status and to protect the agriculture and agri food sector.”
Tory Brexit agenda jeopardises livelihoods of business community – Martina Anderson MEP
Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson has said the Tory Brexit agenda would jeopardise the livelihoods of many involved in the business community in the north.
The Six County MEP said: “There is widespread concern across the business community, particularly among those involved in small to medium sized enterprises about the prospect of being dragged out of the EU against our will.”
She said that the recent comments from the head of Invest NI that he was excited about Brexit did not reflect of the views of business people she had met across the north; “Such remarks turn a blind eye to the fears and concerns of the business community and echoing the Tory approach to Brexit, which is also backed by the DUP. The fact is that the Tory Brexit agenda is bad for business in the north and across the island and the livelihoods of many involved in business would be jeopardised.”
She continued, “Claims that leaving the EU would help attract investment to the north don’t stack up when taken alongside remarks from leading figures in the business world here that they are actually looking to leave the north as a result of Brexit. The best way to protect our economy and our business community from Brexit is to secure designated status for the north within the EU.”
Ballymurphy Massacre families serve letters on British MoD and Theresa May
Sinn Féin’s Paul Maskey travelled to London on Tuesday with the Ballymurphy Massacre families to serve letters on the British Ministry of Defence and Theresa May.
The party’s West Belfast Westminster candidate said:
“I want to commend the Ballymurphy families who have been tireless in their campaign for justice for their loved ones. They served letters on the British Military of Defence and British Prime Minister Theresa May in London today and I was privileged to accompany them on the trip. The families have travelled near and far to highlight their case and today is another step on that journey. They are determined to get justice for their loved ones and today shows their strength and determination to keep the pressure on the British government to achieve their goal.”
Fullerton family still seeking truth on councillor’s assassination – Barry McElduff MLA
Speaking on Thursday, Barry McElduff MLA said that questions into the murder of Sinn Féin councillor Eddie Fullerton would not go away. The West Tyrone election candidate was speaking on the anniversary of the poplular Buncranna councillor’s killing. Eddie Fullerton was assassinated by a UDA gang in collusion with British state forces on 25th May 1991.
Mr McElduff said:
“The Fullerton family has long called for an independent public inquiry into the circumstances surrounding Eddie’s death. They are still waiting for a satisfactory conclusion. Since Eddie Fullerton’s death, there have been serious questions raised about collusion between British military and intelligence agencies with the UDA gang involved in the cross-border attack, the role of the Garda beforehand and the flawed investigation that followed. Eddie was a highly-respected and popular figure throughout Donegal and the family deserve the truth about who was behind his assassination and also about the failed and inadequate investigation which followed.”
Gerry Adams TD sends sympathies following Manchester attack
Sinn Féin suspended its Westminster election campaign during this week out of respect for those killed and injured in the bomb attack in Manchester.
Speaking on Tuesday, Sinn Féin’s President Gerry Adams said: “This was a shocking and horrendous attack on children and young people enjoying a concert. Our thoughts are with those killed and with all those who are injured.”
Sinn Féin leader in the north Michelle O’Neill also expressed sympathy with the families of those killed and injured, “The attack at the Manchester arena which has left 22 dead and injured so many others was horrific and I condemn it. I, like many others, watched with shock and horror as the events unfolded overnight and the scale of this terrible attack became known. For something like that to happen while young people are out enjoying themselves is unthinkable. My thoughts are with the families and friends of all those who have lost loved ones and those who were injured, as well as the emergency services who attended the scene of this tragedy.”
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