Republican News · Thursday 07 September 2000

[An Phoblacht]

Support for agriculture urged

Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson, Fermanagh/South Tyrone Assembly member and Fermanagh District Councillor Gerry McHugh, has called for greater unity of purpose between all the District Councils in confronting the farming crisis.

Mr McHugh said: ``I urge all councils to support farm organisations. Every district council area is affected, each by as much as 15 million, and it should be of great concern to everyone, not just the farming community.

``The present farming crisis extends to, and impacts on jobs and services in both rural and urban communities. It is a crisis not created by the farming community and we need immediate action.

``The BSE crisis and subsequent loss of markets is the root cause of most of the present agricultural problems. Farmers were not to blame and governments have never taken responsibility for the mistakes made, so it is reasonable to ask for compensation, even at this late stage.

``The whole issue of the survival of rural communities must be dealt with at all levels of our society. If ever there was an urgency in genuine joined up thinking between the different government departments, that time is now. This means that the ministers for regional development and social development must end the charade of not sitting in the Executive. We need a greater unity of purpose at all levels of government, between all district councils and between all government departments.''

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