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Seanad showdown on Malin Head 22.02.08

PRESSURE is mounting on the Government to retain Malin Head Coast Guard as a marine rescue centre.
Fine Gael Deputy Joe McHugh said the Government was attempting a massive u-turn from its initial plans to upgrade Malin Head and recruit more staff. The u-turn, he said, was based on a "flawed" senior civil servant report that was "replete with incorrect statements and false conclusions".
Deputy McHugh secured the 16-page report under the Freedom of Information Act and said its findings were highly critical of the Malin region. But he said it contained a number of fundamental errors on its claims of the region's poor electricity supply and inferior telecommunications. Deputy McHugh said that in its Malin Head Coast Guard station
criticisms of educational opportunities, the report ignored the relative proximity of the University of Ulster at Magee, the North West College and LYIT.
Meanwhile, Sinn Féin Cllr. Pádraig MacLochlainn last night welcomed news that his party colleague Senator Pearse Doherty had secured a Seanad debate on the issue on Wednesday, February 27. Sinn Féin also offered to facilitate community campaigners from Malin Head and Inishowen if they wanted to attend the Seanad debate.
"I firstly want to commend my colleague, Senator Pearse Doherty for securing this crucial debate. Since he first raised the issue in the Seanad last November, he has repeatedly fought for this debate.
"The refusal of the Government to commit to the long-term future of the Malin Head centre is outrageous. It is not only a betrayal of the dedicated staff at Malin Head but is also a betrayal of the local community, a community continuously failed by Government," said Cllr. MacLochlainn.
Echoing Deputy Joe McHugh's comments, Cllr. MacLochlainn said the Government could not be allowed to do a "complete u-turn that flies in the face of its own policy on decentralisation".
If you would like to add your voice to the Save Malin Head Coast Guard Campaign, simply send your name and address to wesupportu@inishowennews.com .
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