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Irish president: Rural areas face 'great challenge' amid Brexit

Europe
19.09.2017
By our dpa-correspondent and Europe Online    auf Facebook posten  Auf Twitter posten  
London (dpa) - President Michael D Higgins on Tuesday said Ireland faces the "great challenge of reviving and revitalizing" rural areas, amid the uncertainty surrounding Britain‘s decision to leave the European Union.

It was "a crucial moment" for Ireland, he said.

"The loss of vibrant, viable rural communities is not inevitable, nor is it the result of some unalterable natural phenomena, presented lazily as some ‘way of the world‘," Higgins said as he opened the 86th National Ploughing Championships.

He said the fall of the British pound had already hit Irish exports, hurting many agri-food businesses, costing the country some 650 million euros (780 million dollars) and "creating the risk of fostering investment uncertainty."

One of rural Ireland‘s biggest festivals, "The Ploughing" features more than 350 entrants in ploughing, horseshoe-pitching, sheep-shearing and other competitions.

"What began as a small contest, all the way back in 1931, seeking to answer the crucial question as to which county in Ireland had the best ploughman, has now grown into one of Europe‘s largest outdoor events," Higgins said.

 

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