[Sinn Fein]

11th March 2002

Bertie should really commit to youth - Wood

Vincent Wood, Sinn Fein's candidate for Mayo and a member of the party's ruling Ard Chomhairle, has said that if Bertie Ahern was as committed to young people as he professed during his Ard Fheis speech than he would ensure that the forthcoming election is held at the weekend.

Vincent Wood was speaking during a meeting of Sinn Fein Mayo Comhairle Ceantar.

``The government failed to facilitate young people during last weeks referendum by holding it during the week. In a county like Mayo where so many of our young people are either working away or studying away, many were effectively disenfranchised.

``Combating youth alienation and its associated problems for society will take more than fine words during an Ard Fheis address by a Taoiseach in election mode.

``The Taoiseach could have also sent out a clear message to combat underage drinking by announcing proposals to place a ban on advertising of alcoholic drinks. This would be a bold measure that would mean taking on the drinks industry lobby. It would be interesting to see if Fianna Fail and the PD's would be prepared to take on their friends in the corporate sector on this one.'' Said Vincent Wood.

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