independent

Saturday 24 August 2019

Sinn Fein to unveil new face for the local elections

BILL BROWNE

SINN FEIN activist Melissa Mullane (pictured right) is this week set to be formally unveiled as the party's candidate in the Mallow/Kanturk area for next years local elections.

SINN FEIN activist Melissa Mullane (pictured right) is this week set to be formally unveiled as the party's candidate in the Mallow/Kanturk area for next years local elections.

Her nomination is expected to be ratified unopposed at the Sinn Fein Mallow/Kanturk branch convention, which will take place at the Arches Bar on Thursday evening.

It has also emerged that Melissa (41) is set to be co-opted onto Mallow Town Council in October to replace former town mayor Willie O'Regan who is retiring from politics.

A well known figure within the local political scene, Melissa has been involved with the Sinn Fein party for more than a decade during which time she has served as the chair of its Mallow branch.

Speaking to The Corkman this week Melissa said she will not take the responsibility of being nominated by her peers lightly.

"I have always enjoyed working in the background on behalf of the party and the people of the area. I don't believe that anyone can have a proper grasp on the issues people face without serving some form of apprenticeship. That is how I have viewed my time so far within the party," she said.

"Now is the right time for me to take that to a higher level and I am grateful to the party and my colleagues for giving me that opportunity."

A lifelong socialist and Republican, Melissa is also a firm believer that women have a key role to play in the male dominated world of Irish politics.

"Women in politics are not just there to make up the numbers out of some token gesture to gender equality. We are just as capable of doing the job as our male colleagues, particularly those who just sit back and do not get out there among the people and get a genuine sense of the problems they are facing," she said.

As if to prove that, Melissa and her team have already taken to the campaign trial, canvassing door-to-door across the Mallow/Kanturk area in recent months.

"At this stage I think people are already sick of seeing me at their doors," she laughed.

She was however, deadly serious about her genuine belief that the Sinn Fein party can be a force for good in Irish politics, particularly at local level.

"If we are to build up this country again it has to be done from grassroots. People need certainty, not a situation where the cost of living is going up and cuts to services are increasing.

That means getting out there, hearing what the issues are and taking the steps needed to address them," said Melissa.

"As the saying goes all politics is local and the key to getting Ireland out of recession is addressing local issues such as poverty, employment and emigration. Only by doing this can we hope to have a fair and equitable society with opportunities for all."

Corkman

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