Irish Republican News · July 8, 2010
[Irish Republican News]

[Irish Republican News]
Ex-Green councillor joins Sinn Fein

A Cork-based Councillor Chris O’Leary, formerly of the Green Party, joined Sinn Fein today.

Mr O’Leary originally joined the Green Party in the early 1990s and was co-opted to Cork City Council in 2002 to replace Dan Boyle, who was elected to the Dublin parliament.

He won a second term as a Green Party councillor in the local elections of 2004. He ran unsuccessfully for the Greens in the 2004 elections to the European Parliament.

Mr O’Leary, whose brother Don was elected to Cork City Council for Sinn Fein in the 1999 local elections, works full-time as a project manager in a Community Development Project on the city’s north side and has been involved in anti-poverty work for many years.

After a series of defections at councillor level from the party, Sinn Fein has strongly welcomed the newcomer.

Sinn Fein Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald has welcomed Cork City Councillor Chris O’Leary into Sinn Fein.

Speaking in Cork this morning, Sinn Fein Vice-President Mary Lou McDonald said Mr O’Leary’s decision “further reinforces what was already a strong team on Cork City Council, where our party doubled its representation in the 2009 elections.

“I look forward with confidence to seeing Sinn Fein candidates challenging for seats in both Cork North Central and South Central at the next general election.

“I am sure other elected representatives seeking a progressive party that stands up for ordinary people and offers a clear political alternative will look at Chris’s decision to join Sinn Fein and consider whether this would also be the right decision for them.”

Councillor O’Leary said he had established a good relationship with Sinn Fein on Cork City Council over the years.

“I have watched the party become a progressively stronger force in the politics of the city. I have seen Sinn Fein members and representatives campaigning on issues that are also important to me - for a real job creation strategy, for investment in communities, for action on anti-social behaviour and drugs, against NAMA and public service cutbacks.

“I have come to the conclusion that joining Sinn Fein is the best way I can contribute to building the genuine political alternative our city needs.”

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