[Sinn Fein]

23rd October 2001

Time To Move On All Ireland Institutions - Wood

Sinn Fein's Mayo candidate Vincent Wood this evening said that ``The IRA has yet again created the opportunity for political progress throughout the 32 counties. All parties and both governments need to act now to ensure that dynamic is put back into the development of the all-Ireland bodies so that we can achieve what the vast majority of people want - a United Ireland.''

Speaking at a meeting of Sinn Fein supporters and activists in Swinford Mr. Wood said:

``The decommissioning issue has been used by opponents of political change on both sides of the border to attempt to stifle the growth of Sinn Fein. The IRA has moved to take away the excuses of others by again taking unilateral action to place its weapons beyond use.

``Those people who genuinely want to see a United Ireland - and Fianna Fail and Fine Gael both say that they do - now need to ensure that the all-Ireland institutions are worked and expanded. There are many ways that we can work towards the creation of a de facto all Ireland economy pending the creation of all- Ireland political structures.

``Cooperation on energy provision, including the development of an all-Ireland gas ring main, cross-border road and rail infrastructure, trade and tourism initiatives need to be strengthened and accelerated. Local representatives should share ideas north and south and local authorities should be more proactive in twining and other initiatives. There is an overwhelming case for cooperation on health matters.

In this county, the HEMS initiative is all-Ireland in nature. We support the campaign spearheaded by Mulranny based GP Dr Jerry Cowley as an achievable step along the road to all-Ireland health cooperation.

``The people of Ireland want to see the process move forward and we should all work to ensure that it does.'' ENDS

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