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Coyle to fight Enniskillen by-election

12 August, 2008

Coyle to fight Enniskillen by-election

Sinn Féin have selected 46-year old Debbie Coyle as their candidate to contest the Enniskillen by-election.

She has been a member of the Party for the past two and half years and works in the Sinn Fein Advice Centre in Enniskillen. She is a mother of 7 and grandmother of 2 who was born in London but has been living in Cavanaleck, Enniskillen for the past 12 and half years.

Ms Coyle is employed in Enniskillen as a care assistant in a local Nursing Home. She worked for three years as a volunteer with Cavanaleck Community Association, working mainly with local young people and progressed to paid employment with the Fermanagh Citizens Advice Bureau. She also does voluntary work with Fermanagh Women's Aid, supporting victims of domestic violence.

Commenting on her selection Fermanagh South Tyrone MP Michelle Gildernew said:

"There is a new Sinn Féin dynamic in Fermanagh and Enniskillen. There have been some recent setbacks but we have come through that stronger and more determined.

"We are moving forward with a programme of work based on listening to local people, working with local communities and on delivering.

"I am pleased that Debbie Coyle has been nominated to stand for Sinn Féin in this by-election and the opportunity to increase our representation on Fermanagh District Council and in Enniskillen. She is an excellent candidate who has come to Enniskillen, and over the past 12 years built her life here. She has a strong track record in the community and voluntary sector and constituency work.

"She will give a voice to the many people in this town who are marginalized and sidelined by the other political parties and provide support to those in our community fighting for their entitlements.

"I believe that we have a real opportunity to win this seat and we will by putting the resources in place to take this council seat."

National Chairperson Mary Lou McDonald MEP, who spoke at the selection convention added:

"This is a time of huge change in the political landscape across Ireland. In the North new political realities and working institutions provide new challenges and opportunities. While unionism has yet to grasp how fundamentally things have changed there is no going back. The only way is forward.

"We have regrouped and focused ourselves on rebuilding the party, bringing in new members, developing our activism and crucially on connecting with the communities we seek to represent. Sinn Fein is a party of the people. We offer a voice for the many people right across this island who are marginalised and ignored.

"I believe that here in Fermanagh that the party is well placed to build upon solid foundations. Sinn Fein are the largest party on Fermanagh council and in Cllr Thomas O'Reilly the current Council Cathaoirleach we have a fine example of the type of civic leadership that Sinn Fein are showing right across the 32 counties.

"This is an important election for Sinn Fein not just because it is part of our fight back. It is an important election for Sinn Fein because for too long the people of Fermanagh have been denied the type of representation they deserve."

Commenting on her selection Ms Coyle said:

"It is with great honour and pride that I accept the nomination to fight this by-election for Sinn Fein in Enniskillen.

"I follow a long line of people who have sought a mandate from the people on behalf of Sinn Fein - A mandate for change; A mandate for Irish national self determination and unity; and A mandate for equality.

"Those who know me will know that I first moved to Enniskillen at a time of great personnel distress, that I have made my life in Enniskillen with my young family and how greatly value what Enniskillen has given to me. And I say this, not lightly, I want to give back to the people of Enniskillen what they have given to me.

"The party here locally has faced many challenges in recent times. I am part of the team here in Enniskillen that is not deflected or distracted.

"I continue to work for local people, to listen to local people and to try and help and support people who not get the assistance for elsewhere.

"I am proud to be part of that hard working team and proud to be part of the Sinn Fein fight back here in Enniskillen and across Fermanagh. This fight back is based on partnership with the local community.

"We need to build on that work; to build the party and this election campaign will be a central part of the re-energising of our activists across Fermanagh and a beacon for those wishing to join with us. With hard work I believe that we can achieve great things here in Enniskillen." ENDS

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