[Sinn Fein]

10th January 2003

Dublin TD Supports Call For Action On Farm Crisis

The Sinn Fein TD for Dublin South West, Sean Crowe attended today's protest meeting organised by farmers to highlight the current income crisis. Deputy Crowe said he was there to demonstrate his party s solidarity with the thousands of farming families who are finding it increasingly difficult to survive. Deputy Crowe also emphasised Sinn Fein's support for the right of farmers to demonstrate, and his rejection of efforts to divide working class and rural communities by a Government that is responsible for the problems that afflict both.

Deputy Crowe said; Sinn Fein is fully behind those farmers who are demanding that the Government take action to address the crisis. We have called for the Minister to establish a Commission to examine the state of Irish agriculture and in particular to tackle the income crisis that is making it increasingly difficult for thousands of family farms to survive.

It is clear that this Government, like all its predecessors over the past 30 years, has no real vision for the future of Irish agriculture. They are content to rely upon the hope that the current level of EU subsidies will continue to compensate for the lack of a long term strategy, while failing to develop policies that will safeguard and expand the sector.

That disregard has again been demonstrated by the sweeping cuts right across the spectrum of agricultural and rural development programmes. While paying lip service to the concept of modernisation and regeneration, the cuts contained in the Estimates will ensure that Irish agriculture will be starved of funds in vital areas, and that rural communities will be subject to increased isolation and social decay.

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