Sinn Féin’s Mairéad Farrell has been selected by party membership to contest the Galway West Dáilcheantar at the next General Election.
Sinn Féin Leas Uachtarán Michelle O’Neill MLA was the main speaker at a party selection convention held on Friday night in the Harbour Hotel, Galway described Ms Farrell as a ‘fearless voice’ who will stand up for the people in Dail Eireann.
At the convention, which was chaired by Sinn Féin Galway County Councillor Dermot Connolly from Ballinasloe, Mairéad Farrell said it was a huge honour to accept the nomination to go forward as a Sinn Féin candidate at the next General Election and she looks forward to the challenge ahead and to bringing republican politics back to the doors of Galway city and county.
“Every family in Galway has been affected by the health and the housing crises in their many tiers. Our health system in particular is a shambles and it’s having a real impact on people’s lives. As we gather here this evening, there are 52 patients waiting on trolleys or along wards at University Hopsital Galway - the most overcrowded hospital in the state.
“I received figures recently which showed that 338 men, women and children were waiting over nine months for psychology care in Galway City and County,” she said.
“In the first six months of this year, 854 elderly people over the age of 75 were forced to wait over 24 hours in Galway’s main hospital for treatment. What I always say is that a society which cannot house its people or take care of its ill is clearly not functioning correctly. We must be clear, this is a political decision and not an accident.
“We are told, there is no more money to put in to the health service, or that we already spend enough on the health budget. Well there was enough money to spend over half a million euro on private debt collection agencies to threaten and harass thousands of people, very many of them elderly, for hospital bills that they could not pay. There was enough money to spend €1.7 million on temporary agency staff at UHG in the first 5 months of this year.
“The people can change this. We can campaign, we can elect TDs who will deliver on their promises and we can win these battles. We know whose side we are on. We are on the side of the people. We are on the side of workers. We are on the side of struggling families. The members of the First Dáil showed that we don’t have to accept the status quo. That we don’t have to accept the system as it is. Sinn Féin refuses to accept an economic system that is increasingly unequal and precarious.”
Speaking at the event, Michelle O’Neill said the people of Galway can count on Mairéad to be a fearless voice who will defend their interests in Leinster House.
“The problems facing Ireland in 2019 need real world solutions, in health, housing and public services to ensure that nobody is left behind, or allowed to fall through the cracks. People don’t need more of the same. They don’t need status quo politics, spin or empty rhetoric.
“A generation is being left behind by the politics of Fianna Fail and Fine Gael. Families are being ripped off by rogue insurers and rack-renting landlords. The government treats hard-earned taxpayers’ money with contempt while Micheal Martin continues to facilitate weak government through confidence and supply,” she said.
“People need solutions, not stagnation. Sinn Fein are on the frontline campaigning and providing effective, progressive policy solutions north and south. Sinn Féin are offering the people of Galway West a strong republican and effective candidate in Mairéad Farrell, and I am asking for their support,” she concluded.