[Sinn Fein]

14th June 2002

Department of Marine must be reinstated

Sinn Fein TD for Kerry North Martin Ferris has described the proposals to change the name of the Department of Communications and Infrastructure to incorporate the term `Marine' in its title as a token gesture and wholly unacceptable.

Deputy Ferris said:

``I want to make my parties position absolutely clear. The Department of Marine and Natural Resources must be kept in place. We are an island nation. The Irish Fishing industry is in crisis. EU policy is intent on ensuring its collapse. We are entering a period when the state must offer all possible assistance to those involved in the marine sector.

``Instead we have the situation where the government has diluted the cabinet position of the Marine portfolio. This is simply unacceptable. Sinn Fein will be campaigning to ensure that this government lives up to its responsibilities to the Irish Fishing Industry.''

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