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Maskey & Ó Donnghaile Selected to stand in South & East Belfast

15 December, 2006

Sitting South Belfast Sinn Féin MLA Alex Maskey and East Belfast Sinn Féin representative Niall Ó Donnghaile were last night selected to stand as candidates in South and East Belfast respectively in the upcoming Assembly elections.

Speaking after the selection convention about being nominated to defend his
South Belfast seat Alex Maskey said,

"I am honoured to be once again selected by the local Party to represent Sinn Féin in the forthcoming Assembly elections in the South Belfast area.

"Since the last Assembly election we have been steadily building and recruiting in the South Belfast area in order to offer a better service to the whole community.

"Cleary the problems associated with direct rule have been acutely felt by the people of South Belfast. Decisions taken by Direct Rule ministers, decisions on issues such as the Water Tax and rates increases, have been taken without consultation with local people by Ministers who are not accountable to the local population.

"The elections proposed for March is an opportunity to rectify this. It is an opportunity for people to elect politicians who will be directly accountable to them, and an opportunity for the people to tell the British Direct Rule ministers that they don't want the water tax or the rates increases.

"I am confident that we will go forward in this election with an increased mandate that will allow us to tackle the issues that are important to the people of South Belfast; issues such as HMO's, Planning, Residents only parking, education and health.

"Clearly up until now the DUP have been reluctant participants in this process. However Sinn Féin are keen to get down to the business of working with them, and all of the other parties, in sorting out serious issues like the timetable for the transfer of power on policing and justice and the departmental model, as well as all of the other social and economic issues which affect the people here"

Speaking after being selected to represent the Party in East Belfast Niall Ó
Donnghaile said,
"It is an honour to be selected to stand for the Party in East Belfast. Having grown up in the Short Strand I am aware of the many problems facing the people of East Belfast.

"Recent reports have shown that sectarianism and discrimination in employment and investment is still rife throughout the Six Counties. Nowhere is this more evident than in East Belfast. In my native Short Strand area a recent survey indicated that over 200 new households would be formed in the next few years. Despite this the relevant government departments and agencies have no strategy to deal with this impending housing crisis.

"Sinn Féin will continue to work for all of the people of East Belfast and to build upon our support in the area to ensure that the people of the area get the best representation possible". CRÍOCH

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