Claire Kerrane has been chosen as the Sinn Féin candidate to stand in the new Roscommon-Galway constituency at the 2016 General Election.
The 22-year-old Ms Kerrane was selected at the Sinn Féin candidate selection convention in Durkin’s, Ballaghaderreen, Roscommon. The new constituency includes the full county of Roscommon and a strip of east Galway from Williamstown and Ballymoe down as far as Ballinasloe.
Speaking afterwards, Ms Kerrane said the next election will “mark a real crossroads in Irish politics” as it will “give the people a choice between the politics of the past or a fairer future".
Issues affecting rural Ireland will be a key part of Ms Kerrane’s election campaign. “Rural Ireland has been absolutely battered in recent years,” she said. “Austerity is stripping our communities of essential services – schools, Garda stations, post offices, bus services. Added to that we have all these new taxes - the septic tank charge, the property tax, and now water charges increasing the pressure on families.”
She also noted how many members of her generation had emigrated and she said comments from members of the Government that this was a “lifestyle choice” was “nothing short of insulting”.
“The majority of my friends that now live in London, Australia, and Dubai did not leave Ireland by choice,” she said. “They left because there was no other option. Enda Kenny wants Ireland to be a great little country to do business in. We want Ireland to be a great little country to be born and raised in, to be educated in, to be able to work in.”