Mairéad Farrell, the Galway City East councillor has been selected as Sinn Féin's candidate for Galway West in the next General Election, which is expected to take place in the early months of 2018.
Cllr Farrell was nominated at a selection convention in the Harbour Hotel, last Sunday. More than 100 members of the party endorsed her selection, following her proposal by her city council colleague Cllr Mark Lohan (Galway City Central ), and seconded by Galway City West councillor Cathal Ó Conchúir. She thanked the membership for their support, saying Sinn Féin “can and will win a Dáil seat in Galway West at the next Leinster House election”.
If Cllr Farrell achieves such a feat, she will be the first Sinn Féin candidate to do so in Galway since the 1922 election to the third Dáil.
“I am deeply honoured to have been selected by my friends and colleagues," she said. "We have been building the party steadily over the past decade in Galway and it can be seen in our organisational strength. This time 10 years ago, Cllr Dermot Connolly was our only local councillor in the city or county. We now have five Galway councillors, cumainn dotted across the county, and an ever-increasing membership and supporter base.
She described Galway as "a great county and city with a proud people" but "we deserve so much better". She said Galway West has "some of the worst affected areas" in terms of rural decline and emigration, along with "probably the fastest growing housing crisis anywhere in the country". she also spoke about the local hospitals being under under "unimaginable pressure"; and the importance of upgrade for the N59 Galway to Clifden road.
“I believe, however, there is now a real possibility for a Sinn Féin led government in this State," she said. "A government that will put an end once and for all to the scandalous levels of corruption and inequality that have plagued us since partition. A government that would have economic equality at its core. A government that would treat all the children of the nation equally as promised by the great leaders of 1916. To do this we need to win more Dáil seats. We need to challenge in every constituency."