[Sinn Fein]

16 January 2001

Dáil Enterprise & Small Business Committee visits Stormont

The Chairperson of the Assembly Enterprise, Trade & Investment Committee, Sinn Fein Vice-President, West Tyrone MLA Mr Pat Doherty, said today that the arguments for maintaining partition are being undermined by the logic of creating an all-Ireland economy.

Mr Doherty was speaking during a visit to Stormont by the Dáil Enterprise & Small Business Committee to Stormont today - the first visit of any committee to the North.  The Sinn Fein Assembly member said:

``This is an opportunity to look at how things are done in Dublin and, perhaps more importantly, is a vital opportunity to see how we improve co-operation.

``Within the area of Enterprise, Trade & Investment we have already seen a lot of activity on an all Ireland basis. The announcement last week of research into developing an all Ireland energy market was a positive and pro-active step by both Reg Empey and Mary O'Rourke.

``Discussions will include areas of common concern to both committees, the North/South trade body, InterTradeIreland, small business, the Euro and co-operation between the North's Industrial Development Board and the IDA.

``The arguments for maintaining partition are being undermined from the most unlikely of areas. Business leaders north and south are beginning to see the logic for an all Ireland economy.''

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