[Sinn Fein]

10th May 2002

MacManus backs North West Coalition Against Violence Against Women Campaign

In a statement in advance of an election forum launching the North West Coalition Against Violence Against Women campaign to put this issue on the national agenda, Sinn Fein Sligo/Leitrim candidate Councillor Sean MacManus said:

``I congratulate the women who initiated this campaign, which I agree is needed - both nationally and here in Sligo and Leitrim.

``I have no hesitation whatsoever endorsing their manifesto. Indeed, I am on record as having called for increased funding for women's groups, and for a separate line item in the budget to fund women's programmes. I am also on record as calling for full funding support for a women's refuge in Sligo/Leitrim. The latter is a demand I am raising during my own election campaign.

``Building an Ireland of equals is the core of Sinn Fein's national platform. I agree that equality issues have been shoved off the agenda in this election. I believe that this is because the establishment parties do not see equality as a national priority, and have nothing to say about it.

``As a TD for Sligo/Leitrim and part of a Sinn Fein team in Leinster House, I fully intend to keep equality issues on the political agenda.''

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