Commenting on media reports that Fianna Fáil Senator Thomas Byrne is to seek his party’s nomination to run for election in the Midlands North West EU constituency, the Sinn Féin candidate in the area, Matt Carthy, said:
“The people of the Midlands North West do not need another champion of austerity to represent them in Europe - we have four of them already. We need an MEP who will stand up against the austerity agenda that has been driven at an EU level and implemented by Fianna Fáil and Fine Gael governments in Ireland.
“Thomas Byrne was a Fianna Fáil TD during the time of the economic collapse brought about by his party’s disastrous mismanagement of the economy.
“As a backbencher Thomas Byrne voted for every cut and every stealth tax introduced by that government. He was there when his party ushered in the IMF and implemented austerity measure after austerity measure. His party’s policies devastated public services and disproportionately targeted the most vulnerable.
“In truth ‘Bertie’s man in Meath East’ Thomas is the pure embodiment of Fianna Fáil’s shameful legacy of cuts and ‘who you know’ politics.
“What this constituency needs is new thinking, not more of the same. Unlike Thomas Byrne I have never, nor will I ever be part of a cosy consensus for cuts. I will be Ireland’s representative in Europe and not Europe’s mouthpiece in Ireland. I intend to stand up for the communities that have been devastated by the Austerity agenda that Tomas Byrne epitomises.”