[Sinn Fein]

28th January 2002

Doherty begins second leg of nationwide tour with launch of Vincent Wood's election campaign in Mayo

Sinn Fein Vice President Pat Doherty will continue his nationwide tour this week when he visits constituencies throughout Connaught/Ulster. On Monday he will be in Mayo, Tuesday in Galway and on Friday he will be in Cavan and Monaghan for the launch of the re-elect Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin campaign.

Speaking this morning Mr. Doherty said that during his visit to Mayo today he will be highlighting the party's commitment to creating a level playing field for people west of the Shannon. Mr. Doherty said:

``This afternoon we will be launching Vincent Wood's election campaign in Ballina, where the party has recently opened an office. Not only is Ballina the capital of north Mayo it also provides a clear example of the failure of successive governments to deliver on infrastructure, jobs and social amenities in this county. A prime example of this is the Corrib gas field.

``I will also be visiting Erris this evening where I will be meeting with local residents and campaign groups in relation to the Corrib gasfield. The people of Erris are being asked to accept major disruption to their lives and there are many unanswered questions about the environmental impact of this project to the people of the area. All of this a clear example of the government taking decisions without consulting with the communities most effected by them. Our criticism of the government's handling of the Corrib gas find is well known.

``Sinn Fein is committed to the equality agenda. It is a matter of republican principal for us first and foremost and all of our policies, including those on western development, are based on these principals.'' ENDS

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