Sinn Féin MEP Liadh Ní Riada has called on all political parties, community groups, businesses and statutory bodies across Ireland South to work together to help negate the effects of Brexit on local communities.
The Ireland South MEP was speaking as she launched a series of discussion documents examining proposals for protecting the south-west and mid-west from the worst consequences of Brexit.
Representatives from the agricultural and fisheries industries as well as numerous chambers of commerce and rural development groups, trade unions and TDs were among those who attended the launches in Clare, Limerick, Cork and Kerry.
The documents examine the specific challenges that Brexit will pose for the region and lays out proposals for how they can best be tackled.
“One of the main dangers of Brexit is that it can seem so vast and like such a major international issue that people tend to forget it will have a very real impact on their lives and their communities,” she said.
“What I am am seeking to do with these documents is remind people that Brexit is a local issue as well as an international one and they need to prepare for it locally.
“This issue goes well beyond party politics and so I am hoping these documents will provoke a discussion around the potential impacts of Brexit on the Mid-West and South -West and in doing so spur others on to get involved in that discussion, produce their own ideas and proposals and see how we, as leaders and influencers in our respective fields, can work together to lessen its impact.
“They do not set out to identify every potential impact, nor to offer a one-size-fits-all prescription for lessening the economic and political symptoms that may affect us over the coming years.
“They do, however, attempt to identify the most pressing and damaging potential consequences for the region and set out my proposals and the proposals of Sinn Féin as an all-Ireland political party.
“Since before the referendum campaign began my colleagues and I have been working to defend Ireland’s interests and to point to solutions.
“The documents gather together some of these proposals as they apply to the South-West and Mid-West.
“I would encourage everyone in the region to read them closely, to discuss them with colleagues and partners, and to use this discussion as an opportunity to contribute to the broader discourse around sustainable economic growth and development as well as the South-West and Mid-West’s place in a changed and changing Ireland.”