West Tyrone Sinn Féin -- Building an Ireland of Equals

Sinn Féin to host Agricultural & Rural Road show

Published: 15 January, 2015

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill pictured with her Assembly Private Secretary Cathal ÓhOisín MLA and Sinn Féin's ARD Committee members, Oliver McMullan MLA, Declan McAleer MLA and Ian Milne MLA after launching details of the Sin

Agriculture and Rural Development Minister Michelle O'Neill pictured with her Assembly Private Secretary Cathal ÓhOisín MLA and Sinn Féin's ARD Committee members, Oliver McMullan MLA, Declan McAleer MLA and Ian Milne MLA after launching details of the Sin

Sinn Féin has provided details of a series of public meetings they have planned throughout the north on the topic of CAP Reform. According to West Tyrone Sinn Féin MLA and member of the DARD committee, Declan Mc Aleer "In the current round of engagements, we have held public meetings in Augher, Creggan and Draperstown. These attracted huge crowds and robust debate and discussion on the potential impact of CAP reform on rural communities. "The series of meetings planned between now and March will be attended by Minister Michelle O'Neill, senior DARD Officials and Sinn Féin's agriculture representatives will provide farmers and rural dwellers the opportunity to engage directly with policy makers and learn more about important changes which are underway in terms of CAP reform, the Young Farmers Scheme, the Farm Business Improvement Scheme and the new Rural Development Programme. "Sinn Féin is facilitating this road show as a result of important decisions which were taken by Minister Michelle O'Neill last year, particularly regarding CAP reform and the new Rural Development Programme. Despite the helpful communication which the Minister and her Department has available to farmers, there is still some uncertainty about how these welcome changes to Single Farm Payments will affect farmers, particularly regarding the definition of an 'active farmer'. "There is also much interest amongst the farming and rural communities about the new schemes which the Minister has developed, such as the new Rural Development Programme, the Young Farmers Scheme and the Farm Business Improvement Schemes so it will be extremely beneficial to have the Minister in attendance who can directly answer any questions which people may have. "These meetings will also provide the perfect opportunity for farmers and rural dwellers to learn more about what grants may be available to them in the time ahead. "This road show comes after a series of meetings which we initiated 12 months ago in the run up to the CAP reform and as a party we feel that it is important to regularly consult and engage with farmers and the broader rural community to ensure that we are fully representing their interests. I would therefore encourage people to attend their local event. The public meetings will take place in the following venues: • St Columbs Hall, Ballynascreen, Co. Derry - Thur 15th January at 7.30pm • Clonoe Community Centre, Co. Tyrone - Thur 22nd January at 7.30pm • Rathfriland Community Centre, Co. Down - Thur 29th January at 7.30pm • Tullyglass Hotel, Co. Antrim - Wed 18th February at 7.30pm • Clady Social Hall, Co. Armagh - Thur 26th February at 7.30pm • Enniskillen, Co. Fermanagh (Venue TBC) - Thur 5th March