Mary Lou McDonald selected as Dublin Central general election candidate
Dublin MEP Mary Lou McDonald has been selected as Sinn Féin's candidate to contest the Dublin Central constituency at the general election. Ms McDonald was nominated by Councillor Nicky Kehoe and seconded by Councillor Christy Burke at the election convention which took place in Dalymount Park last night.
Speaking following her selection, Ms McDonald said:
"Three years ago, Sinn Féin came very close to taking a seat in Dublin Central when Nicky Kehoe came within 74 votes of being elected. Huge effort was put in and people throughout this constituency responded to our work in the community, our role in the peace process and for Irish unity and our agenda for change. And whenever the next election is called I believe that, with growing support right across this constituency, we can return a Sinn Féin TD for Dublin Central.
"There has been a lot of speculation about whose seat Sinn Féin is after in Dublin Central. Let me clear that up straight away. The only seat we want is a Sinn Féin seat. We want to be part of a Sinn Féin team not just in Dublin but across Ireland who are committed to bringing about real change.
"Dublin Central is one of the most diverse constituencies in the country. The IFSC towers above East Wall with huge amounts of money being made by private investors while communities in the surrounding north inner city struggle to get by. And while we are struggling for new services here we are in danger of losing others with the possible move of Temple Street Hospital out of the area, something Sinn Féin will strenuously oppose at every level.
"This is also an increasingly ethnically diverse community and especially in the city centre the presence of new and vibrant cultures in Irish society needs to be welcomed. We can see from the Irish Ferries dispute how big business is trying to set immigrant workers against Irish workers, knowing that they will be the only ones to profit.
"I believe that the next general election has the potential to fundamentally change the direction of this country. I believe that growing numbers of people oppose the strategy of this government and coalition of Fine Gael and Labour which has almost identical policies to the current government. It is a disgrace that, given the prosperity of recent years, there is still huge inequality, that it is so hard to afford a home, that it is so difficult to access medical services. It is a disgrace that so many families are working long hours and are still struggling to get by. There is the wealth in the economy to do things very differently and that is what Sinn Féin is about." ENDS