Aontú have confirmed that Paul Lawless has been officially declared as the party's candidate for the upcoming general election in the Mayo constituency.
Aontú Mayo held its selection convention last Sunday night in the TF Royal Hotel, Castlebar, where he was nominated unanimously. Lawless said: "I am running because I feel there is a need to provide a voice for rural ireland. Fine Gael are fixated on Dublin and have an M50 vision, while Fianna Fáil are content in supporting them. It's time to offer a voice that will actually stand up for rural Ireland and Mayo.
"The government has passed a budget which punishes us for living in rural Ireland. I am utterly dismayed at the regressive carbon tax hikes that will disproportionately hurt the people of rural Ireland. We need to act when it comes to climate change but we must not punish those who are offered no alternatives.
"In rural Ireland we don't have the public transport network to deter people from using their cars. Many families often need two cars on the road to function. The expense of that means they are often older and less fuel efficient cars, meaning more on-road tax along with higher carbon tax increases.
"This budget will hurt the poorest people in rural Ireland the most. The less well off are the ones less likely to be able to fit up to spec insulation, solar panels etc which means burning more oil and coal to keep warm. Becoming environmentally aware is crucial, but families need to get their children through the winter.
"Over my local campaign I learned first hand the issues the people of Mayo are facing, particularly the older generation, issues like those waiting three years on waiting lists for a 15 minute cataract surgery, while their eyesight deteriorates.
"I have also stood shoulder-to-shoulder with farmers at the beef protest over the entire campaign. I have been to the forefront with Aontú in relation to our party's bill to ban below-cost selling of Irish beef. "
Aontú Mayo are hosting a farmers' meeting in the TF Castlebar on Monday, October 21 at 8pm to discuss the bill and its future implications. Speakers include: Peadar Toibin TD, Aontú leader, Paul Lawless Mayo Dáil Candidate, Joe Campbell, Independent Farmers and others.