Partition has ‘shattered’ Derry-Donegal, claims MacLochlainn

The Donegal / Derry region has been “shattered by partition” according to Donegal TD, Pádraig MacLochlainn.

Speaking to the ‘Journal’ in advance of Sinn Féin’s ‘Towards a New Republic Conference’, in Derry’s Millennium Forum this weekend, the Inishowen deputy said “back-to-back development has failed the North East of Ireland”.

He said: “Counties Donegal and Derry have suffered greatly as a result of having two health systems, two education systems and two systems of taxation. Ireland is a small island, with a population of only six million and such back-to-back development is ridiculous, illogical and unsustainable.

“One of the keynote speakers at this weekend’s conference is former Donegal County Manager, Mr Michael McLoone. Over the past ten years, Mr McLoone has encouraged a more co-operative approach to this region’s development. He is well aware of what can be achieved, when all of the politicians concerned, focus on the region and work together. The promotion of tourism is just on example.

The Sinn Féin TD cited the go ahead of the radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital as an example of what can be achieved by such political co-operation.

He said: When the future of the radiotherapy unit at Altnagelvin Hospital looked to be in jeopardy, the DUP were as angry as Sinn Féin. I am also confident that the mutually beneficial A5 road project is still on the table.

“I am looking forward to what promises to be a very interesting and respectful debate in the Millennium Forum. There is a diverse panel of speakers including: Inez McCormack (human rights activist and trade unionist), Basil McCrea (Ulster Unionist, MLA) and George Quigley (economist). There will be a big crowd in attendance and it should be an exciting afternoon.”

The ‘Towards a New Republic’ conference begins at 2.00pm and finishes at 4.30pm. Contact: Joanne McDaid on 048 71377551 for more details.