On Monday next, 8 September in the Abbey Hotel Roscommon, Sinn Féin will hold a convention for the selection of a candidate in the Roscommon/South Leitrim Bye-Election and long standing Leitrim Councillor, Martin Kenny is expected to be selected.
The recent success of Sinn Féin in the Local and EU elections, coupled with their high showings in opinion polls, would make Cllr Kenny a serious contender in this battle for the seat vacated by Luke Ming Flanagan’s election to the European Parliament.
Cllr Kenny said, “I am going forward to this convention because I believe that Sinn Féin, with a strong campaign and a strong candidate, can win this bye-election. I have been approached from people from both Leitrim and Roscommon who believe it is time to make a change and who want to see the Sinn Féin team in Leinster House strengthened by the election of a Sinn Féin TD in Roscommon/South Leitrim.
“I believe the people of Roscommon/South Leitrim want a strong outspoken voice to speak up for them to fill the seat vacated on the election of Luke Ming Flanagan to the EU parliament. It is likely that I will be the only candidate from South Leitrim and I would hope to secure a very large vote in Leitrim and to build on the Sinn Féin vote across Roscommon. The success of Sinn Féin across the country in recent elections reflects the growing strength of the party and this constituency now has the opportunity to elect a Sinn Féin TD.
“Everywhere I go people are expressing their sense of disappointment and disillusionment with this Government, who promised so much and delivered so little. I believe people want and need to send a clear message to Enda Kenny, that crucifying working people must stop and real reform needs to begin at the very top. Sinn Féin is the best party to carry that message and if elected I will certainly drive the point home.
“The people of Roscommon and South Leitrim deserve better than they are getting from this government. They deserve jobs, access to public services, clean drinking water, the ability to cut turf on their own bogs and for famers to get a fair price for their produce.
“Like many people across this region I see that if we don’t do something to ensure that jobs and opportunities are created in places like Roscommon and Leitrim, another generation of young people, including my own children, will be forced to emigrate. There has been far too much complacency about emigration – when our young people emigrate in the numbers they are currently its impact is devastating on their families but also on the local community.
“Our small businesses are struggling because people have no money to spend and this Government’s only answer is to increase taxes on businesses and consumers. These taxes and charges are contributing to the downward spiral in the local economy; nobody has any money to spend as the Government takes it all. The level of debt that most people are trying to repay cannot be sustained and a programme for the restructuring of personal debt is required, just as the same is required for the national debt. In spite of great fighting talk before this Government was elected, the banking and international financial services industry is still in control of the economy, just as they were when Fianna Fáil was there.
“I am calling on voters to make the change in this bye-election. Sinn Féin offers a clear alternative. In the North we overcame what most thought an impossible task and negotiated a transformation in political and social terms. If Sinn Féin is given the mandate, we will be equally as committed, to transforming this state, to give people real opportunity and to restoring proper services and living standards for all. This By-Election is your opportunity to make a bold statement and positive contribution to a better future,” concluded Cllr Kenny.