[Sinn Fein]

4th February 2003

Ferris Calls For Threat To Mellows College To Be Withdrawn

The Sinn Fein Spokesperson on Agriculture and Rural Development, Martin Ferris TD, has called on Minister Joe Walsh to ensure the survival of Mellows College, Athenry, the closure of which is to be discussed at this month's meeting of the Board of Teagasc. Mellows College specialises in training and education in organic farming.

Deputy Ferris said;

``This is only one of the many consequences which will follow the swinging cutbacks contained in the Estimates for the Department of Agriculture. It is particularly unfortunate, not only for the futures of the staff and students involved, but for the organic farming sector which has been growing at a healthy rate.

``I will be raising this issue in the Dáil next week and demanding that the Minister withdraw the threat to close Mellows College and to ensure that the necessary funds for its survival are made available .

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