Councillor Dáire Hughes to chair cross border committee

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Thursday, February 20th, 2014
Sinn Féin Councillor Dáire Hughes has been elected to the position of joint Chairperson of the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) Committee.

Sinn Fein Councillor Daire Hughes

The MOU committee has representatives from Newry and Mourne District Council, Louth Local Authorities and now Down District Council. It meets on a regular basis to discuss areas of mutual interest to the region. The key objective of the group is to encourage the economic development of the area by attracting investment and creating jobs. The committee also looks at developing renewable energy, green technology, tourism, recreation and emergency planning. Speaking after his appointment as joint chair of the committee, Councillor Dáire Hughes said, “This committee has been in effect for just over three years and considerable work has been done to promote and strengthen economic and practical links between councillors representing South Armagh, Newry, South Down and Louth. “This committee has huge potential going forward. Economically, socially and culturally, we cannot afford to stand with our backs to the border. Meaningful cooperation can reap significant rewards for the people of the region and ultimately begin to right the wrongs of partition and a continuous partitionist mindset. Hughes continued, “Some of the initiatives discussed at the MOU aim to practically ease the effects of the border, such as requesting that the M1 toll and border-area parking meters accept both Euro and Sterling. Others, such as the Geo-tourism initiative, hope to attract visitors and inward investment to the region.” He added, “Given that recent studies have once again highlighted the disadvantage suffered by people living in the border counties, the importance of this kind of cooperation will only increase. I look forward to working with my colleagues from Newry and Mourne, Down district and Louth local authorities to build on the good work being done.”
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