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Sinn Féin selects Billy Leonard to contest East Derry

23 March, 2005

Sinn Féin today announced that Cllr Billy Leonard has been selected to contest the East Derry seat in the forthcoming Westminster parliamentary election. Speaking from the party's East Derry headquarters in Dungiven Paddy Butcher Sinn Féin press officer congratulated Cllr Leonard on his selection.

"I welcome Billy's selection. Billy has earned a well deserved reputation as the champion of ordinary working class people in the Coleraine Borough area. His work rate on grass root issues such as housing, benefits, planning and road safety is second to none. He has stood alone as the only effective voice against the Unionist "home rule" attitude which has dominated local politics in Coleraine since partition." said Butcher "The unionists used to rule the roost in the other half of this constituency, Limavady Council, but

in the last four years Sinn Féin have stood up to them and demanded and delivered equality and respect for the Nationalist and Republican community. Coleraine can expect more of the same from Sinn Féin in the future"

Sinn Féin's East Derry MLA Francie Brolly also endorsed Cllr Leonard's selection. "Billy's leadership in Coleraine has been inspirational. He is totally committed to all the one Ireland issues such as tourism, the environment, equality and the promotion of the Irish language and culture.

He works tirelessly in advancing the peace process, on the street at grass root level where it really matters."

"Billy's election campaign will focus our commitment to develop East Derry as a key priority growth area for Sinn Féin." concluded Paddy Butcher. "Last Easter we opened a new advice centre in Kilrea as an extension of headquarters in Dungiven to support our activists in the Coleraine Borough Council area.

"Next Monday, one year to the day since Kilrea opened, East Derry Sinn Féin will launch Cumann Roe Valley to serve the Bellarena ward which includes Greysteel, Glack, Ballykelly, Aghanaloo and Magilligan.

"In Dungiven, Kilrea and Bellarena we now have three East Derry election campaign centres to co ordinate Billy Leonard's election campaign."ENDS

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