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Sinn Féin Select Sandra McLellan as candidate for Cork East

28 March, 2006


Sinn Féin last night selected Youghal Councillor Sandra McLellan as their candidate in Cork East for the next election.  A working mother and a former shop steward, Sandra featured prominently in the Sinn Féin Ard Fheis earlier this year.

Speaking at the convention in Midleton, Sandra McLellan said:  “Sinn Féin will promote local employment across the constituency, whether urban or rural, a health system accessible to all, and an education system which is funded to provide a high level of education to all children.  We will continue to push for access to childcare and services for young people.”

“I believe that there is a considerable appetite for change in this constituency and that the people will avail of the opportunity to elect a Sinn Féin TD in the next election.”

 

Full text of election speech:

 

“It is an honour to be selected as the Sinn Féin candidate in the Cork East constituency on this the 90th anniversary of the 1916 rising and the twenty fifth anniversaries of the Hunger Strikes.”

 

“Cork East has a proud republican heritage.  This year is also the 90th anniversary of the execution of Thomas Kent in Victoria Barracks in Cork, the only Cork person executed as a result of the rising.  His brother, David, went on to be elected three times for Sinn Féin. David was known for his unswerving republicanism and belief in the people’s equality of opportunity. This is the tradition I would like to carry on.” 

 

“The Kent’s and other republicans of the time fought not just to get rid of the British but to replace them with a fair and free society.  I would not normally make a point of being a woman – an accident of birth after all – but I think it is notable that Sinn Féin is the only major political party in East Cork to have selected a woman candidate.   All other parties talk and talk about equality.  Sinn Féin delivers.”

 

“Cork East is a very large and diverse constituency. However, it is remarkable that the towns at either end of the constituency, Mallow and Youghal have so much in common.  Each has seen the loss of over two thousand jobs in the last few years.  Mallow is now going through the destruction of a core Irish industry which will have devastating consequences both urban and rural.  Both Mallow and Youghal qualify for the RAPID scheme, testament to years of government neglect.  Mitchelstown is another area which has seen catastrophic job loss with little or no government intervention” 

 

“I accept that industries and their needs change.  But what is notable is that the government has done little in each of these areas to anticipate the massive loss of employment and find replacement employment.  It is all very well building new industries in Little Island and Cork city but all towns need their own indigenous employment.”

 

 

“Outside the large urban towns the rural community has been largely ignored, except as a bank of land for developers to make obscene profits from.  Rural schools are under increasing pressure because permission is given for the development of massive housing projects without the corresponding development of new schools.  Cork East can and should be at the centre of a thriving agri food and bio fuel industry. But family farms have been put under increasing pressure, with the government’s gradual abandonment of agriculture.”

 

“The two tier health system is a continuing crisis.  It is not just the cruel and degrading situation in Accident and Emergency where patients are left dying on trolleys.  It is the lack of services right across the board.  We have seen in the last year the turmoil in cancer services with top specialists leaving due to lack of resources.  Little has been done to develop primary health care.  Underlying it all is the ideology of a two tier health system where those with the money can pay for health care and those who have not, have to take their place in the queue.” 

 

“Despite the considerable outcry over the last number of years childcare continues to be a major burden on most people.  It is extremely difficult to obtain, it is extremely expensive and very under regulated.” 

 

“All this ads up to intolerable strain on families struggling to pay high mortgages or rents, raise families and travel to jobs outside their area.  It is a far cry from the 1916 proclamation which declared …“its resolve to pursue the happiness and prosperity of the whole nation and all of its parts, cherishing all of the children of the nation equally and oblivious of the differences carefully fostered by an alien government, which have divided a minority from the majority in the past.”

“Sinn Féin will in this election prioritise access to work in your own area, whether urban or rural, a health system accessible to all, and an education system which is funded to provide a high level of education to all children.  We will continue to push for access to childcare and services for young people.  People - all people, young and old - in this constituency deserve to be able to live their lives with equal access to good services.”

 

“We will also continue to push the peace process forward.  We will continue to push for the expansion of the all Ireland aspects of the Good Friday Agreement; to build an Ireland free and united; in other words complete the project for which Tom Kent and all those other brave people gave their lives 90 years ago.”ENDS

 

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