Commenting following the selection of Pat “The Cope” Gallagher and Thomas Byrne to contest the EU election for Fianna Fáil in the Midlands Northwest, Sinn Féin candidate Matt Carthy said:
“The people of the 15 counties of this Midlands North West constituency deserve a fresh voice in the European parliament, somebody who will stand up for the interests of the Irish people who will articulate a viable alternative to the austerity agenda.
“Fianna Fáil, despite efforts to reinvent themselves, has today selected two of Bertie’s boys, remnants of the old-guard, in Pat “The Cope” Gallagher and Thomas Byrne who simply cannot provide the voice our people need.
“These two men were TDs during Fianna Fáil’s disastrous time in government and presided over the economic collapse that has caused so much hardship to so many families and so much devastation to the communities of these regions.
“They were part and parcel of the selling off of Ireland’s economic sovereignty to the EU and IMF and ushered in an era of austerity which crippled ordinary people and all but decimated public services.
“What this constituency needs is new thinking, not more of the same. Unlike these two men 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 suffered as a result of the austerity agenda that has been championed by Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and Independent MEPs.”