Friday, May 1, 2009

Launch Night for Mary Lou McDonald and Local Candidates’ Campaign

An official launch night was held at the Gresham Hotel, O’Connell Street for the election campaigns of Mary Lou McDonald, Dublin Sinn Féin MEP and European candidate for 2009, and all candidates standing in local elections in June. Local candidates for Fingal, including Fergus Byrne (Balbriggan Ward) were in attendance. The theme was “New Leadership for a New Time”. Mary Lou McDonald, Sinn Féin Vice-President, was hosting the event, and Martin McGuiness and Sinn Féin President Gerry Adams lent their support also.

Fergus Byrne said: “These next five weeks leading up to the elections are going to be extremely hectic, but all of us in Sinn Féin are buoyed up by the fact that we are confident that our policies are actually viable, unlike this Governments’, and we can make a real difference. We are for the ordinary middle- and lower-income people, not the rich, and people know that”.

The function room was full to the brim with supporters and well-wishers, and when Ms McDonald and Martin McGuinness entered, they received a standing ovation. The evening was chaired by Aengus O Snodaigh, and local candidate Paul Donnelly was the first of the speakers, who pointed out that when canvassing and being asked by people on the doors what made Sinn Féin different, he was able to confidently highlight the party’s detailed and workable policies, including strategies for job creation. He was followed by EU Candidate Thomas Sharkey, who gave an upbeat talk on why Sinn Féin were the best party to represent the interests of ordinary people locally and in Europe, and that the party can give ordinary people hope in these depressed economic times. A lively musical interlude was then provided by Kíla's Ronán O Snodaigh, who impressed greatly with his unique vocal and bodhrán skills!

It was now time for Mary Lou McDonald to speak, and again she was given a standing ovation. She spoke powerfully, outlining the importance of using one’s vote in June in the EU and local elections, and sending the Government a strong message that “we will not tolerate being walked all over”. “Sack the Government and send them packing!” was what the voters were urged to do. Ms McDonald drew attention to Sinn Féin’s track record in Europe with regard to fighting for worker’s rights, for the people of Gaza, and against the Lisbon Treaty. She pointed out that Sinn Féin was a pro-European party, but that the people of Ireland needed a good deal for their country.

Martin McGuinness was the final person to address the room, and underlined how far Sinn Féin have come, both from being in government in the North, to having the most feared (by other parties) EU candidate in Mary Lou McDonald. He stressed how the peace process has brought about changes that no-one could have foreseen even a few years ago, and how the party was laughed at when they predicted some of these changes! He said that whilst many people have gone into politics in the past for power and financial gain, he was proud that his party had an egalitarian, socialist attitude to remuneration, and that, whilst striving for a united Ireland, the primary focus was on working for ordinary people.

Gerry Adams also spoke briefly during the course of the evening, outlining the importance of ensuring that Sinn Féin were elected so that the party could make a real difference to ordinary people. He also praised, as did the other speakers, Mary Lou McDonald for her commitment and dedication to her job.

Fergus Byrne, local and town council candidate for the Balbriggan Ward, was delighted with how the night went, and said: “I really feel privileged to be standing for Sinn Féin in the local elections. Tonight has yet again outlined the fact that Sinn Féin is the party with real solutions, and I do hope that people will come out and support us in June. We will not let them down.”


  1. good luck from Kerry

  2. From past policies, I am sure you still see the need for a complete reform of the EU
    Parliament, Budget process etc?
    See onwards
    on how it can be done, though certainly not overnight!

    Peter in Dublin

  3. Is there a cumman in balbriggan ?
    can you post a contact no ?

  4. Harford/Boland is the name of the cumann in Balbriggan.. contact Peadar on 087 7904271