Martin Ferris selected to contest next General Election - Says Kerry is being left behind
Sinn Féin has selected sitting TD Martin Ferris to be the party’s candidate in the Kerry constituency at next General Election. Party members chose Deputy Ferris at a selection convention which was attended by Cork North Central TD Jonathan O'Brien in Tralee tonight.
Addressing party members at the Meadowlands Hotel, Deputy Ferris said:
“It is a huge honour to be selected to represent Sinn Féin and this county for the upcoming General Election, which I hope will be held sooner rather than later. This government has lost its mandate because of their litany of broken promises and failures.
“Support for Sinn Féin in Kerry has grown significantly since I was first elected in 2002. In last May’s local elections we succeeded in getting 5 councillors elected where previously we had two Sinn Féin county councillors.
"We took more than 30% in the Tralee area and doubled our representation in Listowel. Significantly we made huge breakthrough with Damian Quigg taking a seat in the South & West Kerry area and John Buckley came very close to taking a seat in the Killarney area. This has set a marker for the upcoming General Election, although we will not be complacent nor take the trust placed in us at that election for granted.
“I want to continue to represent a county that has been betrayed by this government. Labour has virtually reneged on every pre-election commitment they made.
"Kerry as a county has been let down by this and previous Fianna Fáil governments. Only yesterday we found out that, for the fifth month in a row Kerry's Live Register figures have gone up. This is despite an improving economy. But it is not improving for most people in this county who have seen their incomes hit, their services cut to shreds and their standard of living attacked by budget after budget that has benefited those at the top instead of those at the lower and middle income levels.
“Sinn Féin is about fairness, equality and justice. The removal of the Local Property Tax and Water Charges are red line issues for us entering any coalition government after the next election. These are not negotiable and I will stand firmly behind those commitments. I am proud to stand beside the thousands of people in Kerry who have stood against the unfair imposition of Water Charges and I will continue to do so.”
“We are committed to a health service that will treat people as human beings and with dignity. Every citizen of this State deserves a first class health system from the time they walk in the door of their local emergency department.”
“Sinn Féin is committed to a fair and equitable taxation system and I make no apologies when I say that those who earn the most will pay more than those on middle and lower incomes.
"We want to bring about a new deal for people living in rural Ireland who have been devastated by the scourge of forced emigration, unemployment and the loss of vital services such as Garda stations, post offices and small schools. Two days ago the government announced, with much fanfare that Kerry is to receive less than half its previous allocation in vital LEADER funding. This is just another example of this government’s attack on rural Ireland.
“We are committed to an education system that gives every child a chance to achieve a level of education based on their academic ability and not on affordability. I work in the social and educational services and I have seen at first hand the effects the savage cuts have had on our young people in education.”
“We now have a chance, for the first time in generations to change the face of politics in Ireland. I am asking the people of Kerry to again come out and vote for me and Sinn Féin in even larger numbers when the General Election is called.”