[Sinn Fein]

26th June 2003

Sinn Fein to meet CEO of Strategic Investment Body

Former Chairperson of the Assembly Enterprise, Trade and Investment Committee, West Tyrone MP Pat Doherty and Sinn Fein Economy Spokesperson, Upper Bann representative Dr Dara O'Hagan will lead a Sinn Fein delegation to meet with the head of the Strategic Investment Board today, Thursday 26th June, at 3pm at the Strategic Investment Boday HQ.

This meeting is part of a wider series of meetings organised by Pat Doherty MP to in response to job losses West of the Bann.

Speaking ahead of the meeting Dr Dara O'Hagan said:

``It is vital that people see exactly what contribution the Strategic Investment Body will bring to investment in our infrastructure, particularly in areas where there is a legacy of under investment that has damaged the ability to retain jobs and attract inward investment.

``Sinn Fein supported the concept of a Strategic Investment Body that can generate change and deliver on this infrastructural deficit. But we have serious concerns about the potential of the SIB to centralise power; to take unaccountable decisions outside of departmental priorities or to make decisions that are based on narrow economic criteria as opposed to meeting the long term requirements of targeting social and economic need.

``There is the danger that if it operates in this narrow way that it may become a vehicle for replicating patterns of under investment and reinforcing the divisions and discrimination witnessed in the past.''

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