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“I want to keep fighting for Ireland” – Matt Carthy accepts SF EU nomination

5 February, 2019 - by Matt Carthy MEP


“I want to keep fighting for Ireland” – Matt Carthy accepts SF EU nomination

Sinn Féin MEP, Matt Carthy, has said that he wants to, alongside his party colleagues, keep fighting for Ireland in the European Parliament.  He was speaking as he accepted the Sinn Féin nomination to contest the upcoming EU elections in May.

Carthy was proposed at the convention, held on Sunday in the Hotel Kilmore, Cavan, by Cavan Monaghan TD Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and seconded by Donegal Deputy Pearse Doherty.

Outlining the challenges facing MEPs in the next European Parliament, Carthy cited the proposals for the new EU budget:

“The EU is currently negotiating a new multi-annual budget.  Their proposal is for an increased budget, in which the Irish people contribute more, but which sees reductions for the Common Agriculture Policy and Cohesion funding while pumping billions into the creation of an EU military framework that has almost no support from the people of this country.

“Every vote cast for Sinn Féin on May 24th will be a vote against that type of EU budget”.

He said that Brexit will continue to dominate EU politics and there was a need to ensure that an all-Ireland party continued to insert Irish concerns into Brexit negotiations:

“Our efforts have had an undeniable impact on Brexit negotiations. Sinn Féin was the first party to argue for Special Status for the North. Other parties accused us, at that stage, of being naive – now that is essentially the policy of the Irish government and the EU.

“It was the work of Sinn Féin MEPs that ensured that Irish issues, and in particular the issues arising from the partition of our country, were understood by our European counterparts and, in turn, became central to the Brexit negotiations.

“With the potential loss of northern representation in the European Parliament it is essential that we return MEPs from an all-Ireland party that has this proven track record of inserting the all-Ireland agenda into Brexit talks.

“How ironic that those parties who have lectured Sinn Féin on Stormount & Westminster balked at the chance to provide representation for Irish citizens from the north in the place they actually want to be represented – the European Parliament.

“This failure to allocate Irish EU seats to the north is evidence enough as to why we need Sinn Féin MEPs.  As we move closer to a United Ireland, and in recognition that the EU can play an important role in that process, we need unapologetic, unequivocal and committed United Irelanders in the chambers of Brussels and Strasbourg.  Only Sinn Féin MEPs are up for that job”.

Matt Carthy EU Convention Feb 2018

Full text of Matt Carthy acceptance speech at Midlands North West EU selection convention:


Thank you all for being here today. Thank you to those Cumainn and Comhairí Ceanntair who nominated me and thanks again to Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin and Pearse Doherty for formally proposing and seconding that nomination.


I am honoured to accept the nomination just as I was five years ago. And, I am even more determined than then to live up to the responsibility that places on me to represent you, our party and this constituency in this election and beyond.


When I was selected to run 5 years ago – the so-called political experts claimed Sinn Féin had made a mistake. They said that EU elections could only be won by high-profile celebrity-type candidates or former TDs who were being sent out to graze in Brussels.


We proved them wrong.


We did it because our politics were right and because the Sinn Féin membership went out and made it happen. When you knocked the doors for your local election candidates you also informed people why we needed a Sinn Fein MEP to fight for Ireland in Europe. That was the decisive advantage we had in 2014. We need the same unity and resolve in 2019.


So, thank you for all the support and encouragement you gave me over the past five years.


It is a massive honour to be an Irish representative in the European Parliament.  Thank you for giving me that privilege.


I want to remember all those republicans who helped build our party over several decades, who were pivotal in the last EU election campaign and who have passed away in the years since.


I want to thank my all my family for their support that allows me to do my job.
I especially want to say how grateful I am to my wife Lynn to our children, Seán, Mairéad, Aoife, Niamh and Eimear for putting up with my absences.



A chairde, Politics is about making choices – it’s about picking sides.


Too many of parties and politicians attempt to sit on the sidelines, to avoid picking a side. They describe themselves as centrists – what they mean is they’re defenders of the status quo.

There will be strong competition for seats in this constituency.


We cannot take anything for granted, we cannot allow these counties to be represented by MEPs who won’t pick a side.


We must work harder and smarter than ever before.

Mar a deir an sean-focail “An té nach bhfuil láidir ní folair dó a bheith glic”.


The sides that require picking are more stark that ever before.

The next number of years will be crucial for Ireland.

We need representatives in the European Parliament who will fight for Ireland.


We need people who won’t be beholden to the European establishment or to the Irish Government; representatives whose only interest will be in getting the best outcomes for the Irish people. That’s what you get with Sinn Féin MEPs. We stand up for the people of Ireland. We defend Irish interests. We fight for Ireland.


We are faced with big challenges in terms of the direction of the European Union.


The much renowned ‘democratic deficit’ within the EU is at risk of widening.

Many EU leaders are intent on further by-passing national democratic structures in a manner they never would have previously publicly admitted.


They now make little secret of their ambition for a United States of Europe.


Sinn Féin is critical of much of the direction of the European Union and we are the Irish people’s watchdog against further centralisation that strips sovereignty from member states and further away from communities.

With my Sinn Féin colleagues I went to the European parliament in 2014 to take on the austerity agenda championed in Brussels and happily implemented by Fianna Fáil & Fine Gael Governments here.  We have challenged the ECB, Europe’s unelected government, for its disgraceful treatment of Ireland – for crippling the Irish people with so some much of Europe’s banking debt.

We have led opposition to the permanent inclusion of austerity rules in EU law.

We have been to the fore in opposing an EU army and in defending Irish neutrality.

Right now the EU wants to strengthen the hand of vulture funds that are taking homes and farms from families – we need MEPs who will not let this happen.

Across all areas of policies and over the past five years the Sinn Féin team of MEPs have made our mark in the European Parliament.


Our efforts have had an undeniable impact on Brexit negotiations. Sinn Féin was the first party to argue for Special Status for the North. Other parties accused us, at that stage, of being naive – now that is essentially the policy of the Irish government and the EU.

It was the work of Sinn Féin MEPs, and I want to commend Martina Anderson for leading the charge, that ensured that Irish issues and in particular the issues arising from the partition of our country, were understood by our European counterparts and, in turn, became central to the Brexit negotiations.

With the potential loss of northern representation in the European Parliament it is essential that we return MEPs from an all-Ireland party that has this proven track record of inserting the all-Ireland agenda into Brexit talks.

How ironic that those parties who have lectured Sinn Féin on Stormount & Westminster balked at the chance to provide representation for Irish citizens from the north in the place they actually want to be represented – the European Parliament.

This failure to allocate Irish EU seats to the north is evidence enough as to why we need Sinn Féin MEPs.  As we move closer to a United Ireland, and in recognition that the EU can play an important role in that process, we need unapologetic, unequivocal and committed United Irelanders in the chambers of Brussels and Strasbourg.  Only Sinn Féin MEPs are up for that job.

Ireland’s place is in the EU.

But that Ireland should be a better, fairer, United Ireland and that EU must be a radically reformed one, that respects national democracy and that acts in the interests of citizens not corporations.

The EU is currently negotiating a new multi-annual budget.  Their proposal is for an increased budget, in which the Irish people contribute more but which sees reductions for the Common Agriculture Policy and Cohesion funding while pumping billions into the creation of an EU military framework that has almost no support from the people of this country.

Every vote cast for Sinn Féin on May 24th will be a vote against that type of EU budget.

Votes for us will be about picking sides.

They’ll be votes on the sides of workers, including our nurses and midwifes.

They’ll be votes on the sides of rural communities, of our small farmers, of investment across the regions, of those who want our young people to be able to live, work and prosper in the community they were raised.

They’ll be votes for Irish neutrality.

They’ll be votes on the side of Irish families struggling to make ends meet and they’ll be votes against the vultures and the free rein of the banks.

They’ll be votes against a Tory Brexit, against any border in Ireland.

It’s time to go out and ask people to pick a side.

It’s time to prove the so-called political experts wrong again.

If we get the politics right, and our politics are right; and if we bring the message of this EU campaign to every door across the thirteen counties of this constituency, then we will return with our seat in the European Parliament.

So, I’m asking you to do it.  For all those who went before us.  For all those who depend on us to deliver for them now.  For the generations to come.

We cannot let them down.

We must keep fighting for Ireland.

Beirigi Bua.

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