Sinn Fein is to run two general election candidates in Cavan-Monaghan in a sign of confidence that the party will increase its support at the polls.
At the selection convention in Cootehill, County Cavan on Friday night, the party’s constituency organisation selected Kathryn Reilly and sitting TD Caoimhghin O Caolain as the party’s two candidates.
Welcoming the adoption of the two-candidate strategy, Mr O Caolain said the adopting of a two-candidate strategy was “historic” and had the clear aim of winning a second Dail seat in the constituency.
“I congratulate Kathryn Reilly who is an excellent candidate. She is a very intelligent, articulate and dedicated young woman.
“She has been a great asset to Sinn Fein’s team in Leinster House and would make a first-class Dail representative for the people of this constituency.”
M O Caolain pointed out that next year marks the 30th anniversary of the election of hunger striker Kieran Doherty as the constituency TD when he won the endorsement of the people for his rights and that of his comrades as political prisoners.
“Out of that 1981 election came a dedicated team of republicans who went on to build Sinn Fein in these two counties to the point where we now have a total of 27 local authority seats. Sinn Fein now has elected councillors in all eight electoral areas in Cavan and Monaghan.
“I am delighted that we are now taking the next step and setting our sights even higher - this time to win a second Dail seat for Sinn Fein.
“This challenge could not come at a more crucial time. Our country is in crisis and people need and deserve real leadership. Sinn Fein has shown that leadership in challenging this disastrous Fianna Fail/Green Government which has wrecked the economy, sold out sovereignty and intends to further punish low to middle income families in its totally ill-conceived budgetary strategy.”
Meanwhile, a newly-formed United Left Alliance intends to run candidates in at least 14 constituencies for the general election including prominent Socialist MEP Joe Higgins in Dublin and former Tipperary TD Seamus Healy.
The alliance was formed last October and is made up of members of the People Before Profit Alliance, the Socialist Party and the Tipperary-based Workers and Unemployed Action Group.
Spokesman Eddie Conlon told a news conference in Dublin on Monday the alliance believed the Dublin government’s policy of “prioritising the needs of the banks over the citizens” was wrong.
There should be a policy of taxing the rich because the ordinary workers had suffered enough. He said the private debts of the banks could not be transferred to the taxpayers.
Cllr Richard Boyd-Barrett - who is a candidate in Dun Laoghaire - said the alliance had called for a maximum limit on salaries in the public sector but this should be set at 100,000 euro and not the 250,000 euro which the Government was said to be considering.
A list of ULA general election candidates includes: Cllr Mick Barry (Cork North Central); Cllr Richard Boyd-Barrett (Dun Laoghaire); Cllr Joan Collins (Dublin South Central); Joe Higgins MEP (Dublin West); Cllr Clare Daly (Dublin North); Cllr Seamus Healy (Tipperary South); Cllr Gino Kenny (Dublin Mid West), Seamus O’Brien (Wexford); Mike Murphy (Dublin South West); Cian Prendiville (Limerick City); John Lyons (Dublin North Central); Annette Mooney (Dublin South East); Conor Mac Liam (Carlow-Kilkenny) and Brian Greene (Dublin North-East).