[Sinn Fein]

11th December 2001

Fermanagh and Clones councils meet to discuss cross border measures

Sinn Fein Councillor and Vice Chairperson of Clones UDC Pat Treanor has described this week's joint meeting of Clones UDC and Fermanagh District Council as an important step forward in addressing the needs of the people of Monaghan and Fermanagh. This is one of a series of meetings called to examine a broad range of economic, social and political issues that play a fundamental part in the life of the two counties. Cllr Treanor said:

``When we look at the decline in rural industry, the disparity in funding and investment in economic development and the absence of a comprehensive transport infrastructure, then it is clear that we need a comprehensive and coherent strategy which will deliver real opportunities to the people of Monaghan and Fermanagh,

``This week we had a broad discussion around harmonisation in terms of agriculture, education, transport, energy, health and housing. There was also a detailed discussion regarding infrastructure and a number of proposals were made regarding the re-opening the Ulster Canal - which would see a waterway running from the Shannon to Belfast and  seeking EU funding to develop rural transportation.

``These joint meetings are designed to bring forward a strategy which will create and develop and effective infrastructure, including a proper road network, telecommunications and education services for the region. Without such development, investment and job creation, it is the young people of the Border region who will suffer needlessly, as in the past, many of them will sadly not have the option of staying, living and working in their home area as should be their right.''

In attendance at the meeting from Clones UDC were Sinn Fein Councillors Pat Treanor and Debbie Moore, and  Fine Gael Councillor Peter Mulligan, from Fermanagh District Council were UUP Councillor Harold Andrews and Sinn Fein Councillors Brian McCaffrey and Thomas O Reilly.

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