Belmullet-based county councillor Rose Conway-Walsh has been appointed to a special committee to represent local and regional authorities in the European Union.
The Sinn Féin representative is one of nine councillors selected to represent Irleand on the EU Committee of the Regions.
Sinn Féin secured representation on the committee after the party won four seats in the 2014 EU election.
Cllr Conway-Walsh said she was delighted to accept her selection for the role from Sinn Féin leadership and subsequent appointment by Minister Alan Kelly.
“It gives me an opportunity to examine proposed EU legislation in the context of how it is likely to impact on the people in Mayo and the western seaboard,” said Cllr Conway-Walsh.
“The Commission, the Council and the Parliament must consult the Committee of the Regions before EU decisions are taken on matters concerning local and regional government.
“For example on employment policy, the environment, education or public health, and natural resources.
“The committee has the right to go to the European Court of Justice to challenge EU laws which do not comply with the principle of subsidiarity, which basically means that decision making must be made as close as possible to people on the ground.
“I have always been concerned about the lack of scrutiny and analysis of EU legislation on how it impacts on rural Ireland. My appointment demonstrates Sinn Féin’s ongoing commitment to Mayo and to the west.
“I look forward to bringing many issues I and councillors Gerry Murray and Thérése Ruane work on in the county to Brussels to ensure the voices of the people we represent are heard at EU level. I already work closely with our own MEP Matt Carthy here in the Midlands North West Constituency and our other MEPs so I hope to be able to hit the ground running.”