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Mac Lochlainn to contest Donegal North East for Sinn Féin

17 October, 2005

Donegal County Councillor and Buncrana Mayor, Pádraig Mac Lochlainn was selected as the Sinn Féin candidate for Donegal North East at the party's selection convention in the Clanree Hotel, Letterkenny last evening. 500 delegates gathered for the convention which was chaired by Caitriona Ruane, MLA. The guest speaker was Martin McGuinness MP.

Also in attendance were Sinn Féin Vice President, Pat Doherty MP, Sinn Féin General Secretary, Mitchel McLaughlin, MLA, Raymond McCartney MLA, and Sinn Féin councillors from throughout Donegal and Derry City.

Speaking after his selection, Colr Mac Lochlainn said:

"The massive attendance at our convention reflects the mood of confidence and determination amongst our party members across this constituency. This grass roots movement has rapidly developed over the last number of years. We now feel that we are in a position to challenge the old political establishment in the county and take a Dáil seat in Donegal North East at the next general election. That picture is the same in Donegal South West where I have no doubt that Cllr Pearse Doherty will win a Dáil seat for Sinn Féin there too".

"The reality is that 5 out of 6 TDs in this county back a Government that has utterly failed this county. A recent report from the Combat Poverty Agency entitled "Mapping Poverty" revealed that Donegal is officially the most deprived county in the 26 counties. The people of this county are 90% more likely to live in relative poverty than those in most of the state. This was no surprise.

Our unemployment levels at 18.6% are over four times the national average. We have lost thousands of jobs instead of catching up with employment levels across the regions. We have hospital patients on trolleys in the coffee dock at Letterkenny General Hospital for the want of extra beds. We have cancer patients continuing to travel hundreds of miles for crucial treatment".

He concluded:

"This Government considers Donegal as nothing more than an outreach point. The people of Donegal deserve better. We in Sinn Féin will work tirelessly over the next period to provide the alternative that they are crying out for. We will put to them a new vision of empowerment for our county working within the context of the North West cross border region working in partnership with our Sinn Féin colleagues in Derry, Tyrone, and Fermanagh instead of as an neglected outreach of Dublin". ENDS

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