SF chooses candidates for two city wards

Sinn Féin will run candidates in all three city wards in the 2014 Local Elections, with Mairéad Farrell and Cathal Ó Conchúir, already selected to stand.

The party held its local election selection convention for Galway city on Monday. The party selected Mairéad Farrell to run in Galway City East and Cathal Ó Conchúir for Galway City West. The party will run a candidate in Galway City Central, but no definite name has emerged as yet.

Ms Farrell is a 23-year-old with a BA in economics and history from NUI Galway and a master’s in finance in Queen’s University Belfast. She has been on the Sinn Féin Republican Youth’s National Youth Committee for the past five years and in 2012 became a member of the SF Ard Chomhairle.

Speaking after her selection, Ms Farrell told the meeting: “I believe that Galway City Council isn’t truly representative of Galway. This can be seen in the lack of women and young people elected to it. I hope I can give a voice to those who have been under represented for far too long.”

She said she will, if elected, campaign for greater powers for local government and advocate a decrease in the “entirely unjust” property tax.

Speaking about the city manager Brendan McGrath’s controversial decision to privatise bin collection, Ms Farrell said SF was “completely against the privatisation of the bins, something which we are sure will have disastrous consequences for the people of Galway.”

Cathal Ó Conchúir is a secondary school teacher who also coaches rugby and is involved with the Salthill and Barna GAA clubs.

Mr Ó Conchúir, in his address to the meeting, called for “radical reform” of local government, including greater powers, and better funding through progressive taxation and rates. However he said Sinn Féin will oppose the introduction of water rates. He also said SMEs should be given the same tax breaks as the hospitality industries.

This week also saw Galway East Sinn Fein hold its selection convention for the new Oranmore-Athenry ward in the Raheen Woods Hotel, Athenry, on Tuesday. The party selected Gabe Cronnolly as its candidate for the ward.

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