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4 August 2014 Edition

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Sinn Féin minister’s CAP deal delivers for all farmers

• Agriculture Minister Michelle O'Neill MLA addresses farm leaders and communities in Ballinasloe, County Galway, on how the problems in the beef sector can be tackled

‘This has been a very contentious issue and Sinn Féin has shown we can deliver for all farmers’

SINN FÉIN Agriculture Minister Michelle O’Neill has secured a deal on the Common Agricultural Policy (CAP) worth £623million to rural communities.

The deal ensures a fairer distribution of European money to farmers and includes an £80million pledge for rural development.

The multi-million-pound investment means farmers in disadvantaged areas, such as hill farmers, will get a more equitable deal.

After months of negotiations, Minister O’Neill brokered an agreement that ensures a fairer distribution of European funding to local farmers.

“This has been a very contentious issue and Sinn Féin has shown we can deliver for all farmers.

“This is an investment of £623million, making it the biggest-ever investment in a rural development programme.

“It will be spent right across rural communities to support development projects like community centres to help isolated rural communities get together,” the Agriculture Minister said.

The Mid-Ulster MLA said the deal brokered on CAP has been welcomed by a wide range of farming organisations, including the Ulster Farmers’ Union.

“This is a time of significant change for farming and rural communities and they asked me for clarity and that is what has been delivered.

“This is a reasonable, fair and balanced approach which is great news for rural communities,” she said.

Sinn Féin MEP Martina Anderson and Sinn Féin Agriculture spokesperson and East Antrim MLA Oliver McMullan also welcomed the deal.

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