Sunday 20 October 2019

Sinn Fein's newest MEP says party will not let down its voters

Caroline Crawford

SINN FEIN’s newest MEP has said that the party will not let down those people who had entrusted their vote to them.

Matt Carthy was elected to the third seat in the Midlands Northwest constituency joining Fine Gael’s Mairead McGuinness and Independent Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan.

Describing his election as a vote against austerity, Carthy added: “The days of the Fianna Fail/Fine Gael stranglehold on politics in this State is long over and good riddance to be quite frank.”

Carthy insisted that the party would deliver for the communities who had stood by it.

"I just want to thank the membership of Sinn Fein for entrusting me to be the public face of the party for this campaign and to say that I hope that I don't let them down and I hope that Sinn Fein doesn't let those people who entrusted us with their vote down, I don't believe we will. I think we are seen ever increasingly as a party that stands by those communities that need support and we intend to deliver for those communities," he added.

Earlier re-elected Fine Gael MEP Mairead McGuinness criticised some politicians for “misleading” the public on what they can deliver.

McGuinness warned that politics was “not a sport” and the country should not be naive about the challenges ahead.

“When we were out there we heard about the troubles of business and families, but those who suggest there are solutions that are soft and easy are misleading people,” she said.

“Politics is not a sport, it’s about managing a country. What has gone on over the last couple of weeks we have to reflect on very, very carefully. But let’s not be naive, there is no magic money out there. I’m listening to people, indeed in this room, talking about promises and what they’re going to do and what they are not going to do - I will be watching to see what actually happens,” she added.

Meanwhile the battle between Independent Marian Harkin and Fianna Fail’s Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher continues for the last seat in the country.

Speaking after his election Carthy described his election as a victory for the hundreds of thousands of Sinn Fein activists and members right across the constituency.

"I think the people have sent the Government a very strong message. This isn't about personalities, it's not about leaders of parties, it's about policies that are crippling our communities.

"This message from the electorate is that people want change and people are increasingly seeing Sinn Fein as the party that is going to deliver that change," he added.

Speaking after her election, McGuinness said she believed the role of the Parliament over the coming years would be to legislate less.

“I said that before this campaign started. We have enough, we have banking rules to beat the band, we have rules on all sorts of sectors. We need to manage and make sure they are implemented properly and we need to be able to take away those that are merely cumbersome for business and for communities. And that’s the role for the European Parliament now and I believe for the next five years,” she said.

She also dismissed criticism of the Fine Gael election strategy saying the party had always known it would be a difficult challenge to take two seats in the constituency.

And she hit back at claims that Jim Higgins had been used as a sweeping candidate, saying: “We don’t use anybody in Fine Gael. We are both very strong candidates. I have enormous respect for Jim Higgins.”

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