Sinn Féin - On Your Side

Sinn Féin Councillors to bring radical and positive agenda to Local Government chambers

23 May, 2005

Sinn Féin General Secretary Mitchel McLaughlin has today said that newly elected and re-elected Sinn Féin Councillors will be taking their seats on local councils over the next number of days to "bring their radical agenda for change to local council areas throughout the Six Counties."

Mr McLaughlin made his remarks as a number of local councils are holding their AGM's this evening.

Speaking today Mr McLaughlin said:

"Sinn Féin had a tremendous election returning 5 MPs and 126 local councillors. We will be bringing this mandate for change to every local council to which we are elected and as the only all-Ireland party our aim is to have representation on every local council in Ireland.

"In the two decades since Sinn Féin Councillors were first elected to local authorities, Sinn Féin has been at the forefront of transforming local governance. We are committed to delivering quality services to all on the basis of equality. We want to see local democracy strengthened and brought closer to the people, equality principles, greater all-Ireland integration and our councils to be radical, effective and accountable.

"This current council term is an extremely important one. Sinn Féin will be fighting against the water charges, fighting cuts to edecuation services, fighting the privatization agenda,campaigning for employment and tackling social exclusion. I am confident that this current crop of Sinn Féin Councillors will bring their radical agenda for change to local council areas throughout the Six Counties, provide effective leadership and continue to change the face of local government for the better."

Sinn Féin Ballymena Councillor Monica Digney added:

"Sinn Féin will stand up for the rights of all people, especially on councils where there is a history of discrimination. Sinn Féin will challenge councils that refuse to share power and we will work to ensure that unionist misrule in eroded.

"On those councils where unionists have refused to accept and respect the mandates of all Sinn Féin will look at every option to ensure that equality and inclusion triumph over exclusion and bigotry." ENDS

Note to Editor: A number of local councils are holding their AGMs this evening, including Armagh, Ballymena, Ballymoney, Banbridge, Coleraine, Derry City, Down, Dungannon, Fermanagh and Newry and Mourne

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