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Sinn Féin announce two candidates in Upper Bann

21 January, 2017 - by John O'Dowd

Sinn Féin have announced two candidates for the upcoming Assembly Election on the 2nd of March.

Sitting MLA and former Education Minister, John O’Dowd has been re-selected along with party colleague Nuala Toman.

Ms Toman has been selected to replace current MLA Catherine Seeley, who will be acting as Election Agent for the campaign having stepped aside to return to a teaching post. 

Thanking party members for his nomination Mr O’Dowd outlined the importance of this election:

“The collapse of the Assembly was brought about by the DUP's handling of the RHI scandal and allegations of corruption associated with the scheme, as well as the failure to live up to the principles and agreements upon which the institutions were built.

“Martin McGuinness led the way in regards building a fair and just society. We must now build on his legacy and create a society and government we can all be part of and be proud of.

“Sinn Féin are seeking a mandate to stand up to corruption in all its forms and to stand up for the rights and entitlements of all citizens.

“Politicians, political commentators and journalists have all had their say on the alleged financial corruption; it is now time to hand it over to the people and allow them to speak through the ballot box.”

Mr O’Dowd also congratulated his colleague Ms Toman, who previously stood as a Sinn Féin council candidate in Castlereagh South.

Ms Toman is a local Lurgan woman who currently works in party president Gerry Adams’ office spearheading Sinn Féin’s Uniting Ireland taskforce. She previously worked in Educational Development in Queen’s University Belfast, and held senior Research and Policy positions in Glasgow Caledonian University. As a recently married and new mother, Ms Toman is looking forward to the challenge of fighting for two seats in Upper Bann.

Mrs Toman said:

“I am honoured to have been selected by my colleagues to stand for Sinn Féin in Upper Bann in this crucial election, and I pledge to work hard for the people of this constituency.

“We know that the battle for two seats in Upper Bann will be a difficult one, considering the constituency’s reduction from six seats to five.

"We also know that if the electorate comes out to vote and show their anger over the recent RHI scandal, and over the ongoing contempt for equality and Irish identity demonstrated by the DUP, Sinn Féin can indeed maintain two seats and maximise nationalist representation in Upper Bann.

“At the very heart of this election is the matter of building an inclusive society. It is about delivering equality, accountability and respect. Sinn Féin will not tolerate financial scandal, incompetence, or the waste of public money.

“The institutions can only function with the support of the people and can only operate on the basis of equality and respect.” 

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