[Sinn Fein]

28 February 2001

Sinn Fein Ard Fheis to be kept under review

Sinn Fein Chairperson Mitchel McLaughlin said that the party's Ard Fheis which is due to take place in Dublin on March 10th/11th will be kept under constant review over the next few days.

Mr. McLaughlin said:

``There is widespread concern across the island regarding the possibility of the spread of Foot and Mouth Disease to any county in Ireland.  Sinn Fein have been urging people to act responsibly and to co-operate fully with measures to ensure that this disease does not enter the island.  We are all conscious that this potential epidemic places at risk the livelihoods of communities throughout rural Ireland.

``In terms of the party's Ard Fheis which is  due to take place on March 10th and 11th we have been in touch with the Department of Agriculture to seek their advice and of course we will be acting responsibly and will take any precautions that they advise.  At this point they are not recommending that we cancel.

``We will be keeping the matter under constant review over the next few days.''

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