Sinn Féin tells us lies, sweet little lies – Deering

29th May, 2015

Sinn Féin claims to support the sugar industry here at home but undermines it in Europe

“Sinn Féin is effectively lying to the people of Carlow with its two faced stance on the sugar beet industry; supporting it here at home and all the while, undermining it in Europe,” says Fine Gael TD for Carlow-Kilkenny, Pat Deering.

“Sinn Féin is suddenly coming around to supporting the return of the sugar beet industry, now that they see a few votes in it. Martin Ferris’ recent comments in the Dáil supporting the reopening of the sugar industry are an example of this

“The people of Carlow should know that his comments come only a few short months after Sinn Féin’s political group in the European Parliament voted to put a strict cap on the amount of crop-based bio-fuels that count towards the EU’s 10% renewable energy targets. This would severely restrict the beet industry in Ireland as it would limit the amount of sugar that can be used for biofuel production.

“Last month, Sinn Féin MEPs reconfirmed their lack of support for the sugar industry by voting against a compromise proposal in the European Parliament which is much more favourable to the future of the sugar and ethanol industry in Ireland. The compromise agreement puts in place a more favourable cap on crop-based biofuels and recognises the importance of ethanol as a biofuel into the future.

“So while Sinn Féin members talk a good game in relation to sugar here at home, they are proactively working against the Irish sugar industry in Europe. Their tactic of ‘calling on the Government’ to support the sugar industry here in Ireland is downright laughable in this context.

“However the people of Carlow know that this is no laughing manner. The closure of Carlow Sugar Factory in 2006 did severe damage with job losses and a knock on effect to the local economy. It was Fine Gael Minister for Agriculture, Simon Coveney, who, during the Irish Presidency of the EU, secured agreement as part of the overall CAP reform package, to abolish all sugar quotas by 30th September 2017. This agreement removes, with effect from 1 October 2017, the current EU quota barrier for operators in Ireland or other Member States, wishing to re-establish a sugar industry. This Government will continue to use its influence in Europe for good, rather than seeking to restrict high potential Irish industries like sugar/ ethanol, in the way that Sinn Féin MEPs seek to do.

“I have been working closely with Beet Ireland over the last few years, as they seek to bring a sugar enterprise back to Ireland. I will continue to work with them towards the return of the sugar industry here in Carlow.”