Seven to stand for EU elections in North
Seven to stand for EU elections in North

The former leader of the Ulster Farmers’ Union John Gilliland has announced that he is standing as an independent in the forthcoming European elections in the Six Counties.

Mr Gilliland says he wants to offer an alternative to the deadlocked politics of the major parties here. There are rumours that the Alliance Party and unnamed others will back the independent candidate.

He will be joining six other candidates in the election in early June.

The Sinn Féin candidate will be Bairbre de Brun, elected in West Belfast in both the 1998 and 2003 Assembly elections, and a former Minister for Health in the short-lived Stormont administration.

The Socialist Environmental Alliance candidate will be Eamonn McCann, best known as a journalist but who stood under the same banner for the 2003 Assembly election; he previously ran in the Westminster elections as an independent Labour candidate.

The UUP candidate will be Jim Nicholson, who has been a Member of the EU parliament since 1989 and was previously Westminster MP for Newry and Armagh.

The DUP candidate is barrister Jim Allister, who was elected to the 1982-86 Assembly for North Antrim, and has come out of political retirement to contest the seat vacated by party leader Ian Paisley.

The SDLP candidate will be Martin Morgan, a member of Belfast City Council since 1993 and currently Mayor of Belfast and who will hope to take up the mantle of former SDLP leader John Hume.

The Green Party candidate will be Marie Perry, who is 22 and has not fought an election before.

* Meanwhile, the disability campaigner Kathy Sinnott has announced she will run for the European Parliament in Ireland’s South constituency.

Ms Sinnott’s entry into the contest will bring further competition to the already keenly contested constituency, which has been reduced to a three-seater for the June 11th poll.

The President of the European parliament, Mr Pat Cox, will announce tomorrow whether he is to seek re-election in the former Munster constituency.

Urgent Appeal

Despite increasing support for Irish freedom and unity, we need your help to overcome British and unionist intransigence. We can end the denial of our rights in relation to Brexit, the Irish language, a border poll and legacy issues, with your support.

Please support IRN now to help us continue reporting and campaigning for our national rights. Even one pound a month can make a big difference for us.

Your contribution can be made with a credit or debit card by clicking below. A continuing monthly donation of £2 or more will give you full access to this site. Thank you. Go raibh míle maith agat.

© 2004 Irish Republican News