Speaking last week in Carrick-on-Shannon as his tour of the country gathers pace Sinn Fein presidential candidate Martin McGuinness declared “I am in this campaign to win.” Having seemingly survived a week of tough questioning, the opinion polls on the morning of McGuinness’ visit to Leitrim had him well placed in the race and Northern Ireland’s Deputy First Minister declared, “To be elected President of my country would be the greatest honour the people of Ireland could ever bestow upon me.”
Speaking about what he would bring to role of president were he to be elected, the Derry man said one of his main priorities would be to do what he can to address the issue of unemployment and he believes with the contacts he has made in America and worldwide he is in an ideal position to do just that.
“I think one of the biggest challenges I would face as the President of Ireland would be to ensure that in meeting with the Taoiseach of the day, Enda Kenny, that we agree together a plan to put in place a major taskforce to attract inward investment to this island and I would like to use my international stature for the benefit of the people of this island by going out to the United States of America, to other parts of the world to attract foreign direct investment. I also think I am the only candidate in this election who has a track record of doing that. Along with Peter Robinson and Ian Paisley I have brought something like 14,000 new jobs into the north.”
When asked if he thought he would be able to have a similar impact in this region Mr McGuinness was adamant that he believes he can help create employment in this part of the country.
“Absolutely, I think that I would turn all my skills and abilities and contacts for the benefit of the people here and throughout the island of Ireland.”
To read the full story see this week’s Leitrim Observer.