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Martin McGuinness predicts Sinn Féin TD for Waterford

18 November, 2005

Sinn Féin Chief Negotiator Martin McGuinness MP, MLA predicted that Waterford would send a Sinn Féin TD to Leinster House at the next election. Mr. McGuinness was speaking at the Sinn Féin Election Convention in Dungarvan on Thursday, which unanimously elected Waterford City Councillor David Cullinane as the party’s Dáil candidate. "I believe the people of Ireland are intelligent and clued in to the real issues. In David Cullinane we could not have a better candidate," he said. "He is one of the young, bright, articulate people coming through now, and I have every confidence that he will take a seat at the next election."

Cllr Cullinane was proposed by Waterford County Councillor Brendan Mansfield, and seconded by City Councillor Joe Kelly, who both spoke of David’s hard work and commitment to the people of Waterford.

David Cullinane, in his address, laid out his vision of the type of Ireland he wanted to see. He said, “People are entitled to a decent health service, a decent education, a decent home that doesn’t cost the earth, a decent job with good pay and working conditions, and a decent standard of living and quality of life. These entitlements are not part of today’s Ireland, but they can and should be." Quoting James Connolly, that "A nation is judged on the quality of life of its poor", he went on to outline the failings and problems in our society, including poor housing, unequal access to education and health services and low pay. He highlighted childcare as a central issue, and said, "We need to put children first when it comes to planning".

David continued by stating his belief that regional and long term strategic planning was necessary to deliver real infrastructural progress on roads, transport, health, education, waste management and job creation. He said, “Regional development is the way forward as there is an inter dependency between counties in the southeast. I want to see a world class regional hospital, an appropriate regional airport and a University for the Southeast. However development must be delivered for the entire region and in Waterford this means the county as well as the city. The underdevelopment of West Waterford coupled with major job losses over the last decade is a cause for real concern. Proper regional development must deliver for everyone. He concluded by saying that all of this was impossible unless there was major reform of local and regional authorities with must encompass the role of local elected representatives and communities.

Responding to questions Cllr Cullinane said, "Concerning possible coalition, I think the question is who will we consider as coalition partners, not who will consider us. Do we really want to be coalition partners with parties who have presided over an increased gulf between rich and poor? We don’t want to win elections for the sake of it, we want to win elections to change things for ordinary people".

David concluded by recalling the 1916 Proclamation, saying, "This is not just a historical document. When it says that all the children of Ireland should be cherished equally it means just that, yet all children are not cherished equally. Sinn Féin wants to bring the vision contained in the Proclamation to life and build a United Ireland based on participative democracy. I appeal to everyone who shares that vision to work with us in building a new and better Ireland". ENDS

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