Delegates to a specially convened Sinn Féin convention selected Monaghan County Councillor Matt Carthy as the parties candidate in the EU elections in the northern constituency in the 26 Counties on Sunday last.
Carthy was selected at the convention in the Radisson Hotel in Sligo attended by more than 750 delegates. He had been up against strong competition from Senator Kathryn Reilly (Cavan) and Councillors Rose Conway Walsh (Mayo) and Martin Kenny (Leitrim)
Speaking after winning the nomination Cllr. Carthy said:
“I am honoured to be representing Sinn Féin in what will be a new constituency when the commission reports and I want to take this opportunity to call for the report to be expedited.
“I am very confident that Sinn Féin can win a seat in this constituency.
“In the EU election campaign I will very clearly be a voice for fairness in Ireland and in Europe.
“I will be a strong voice against austerity whether emanating from Leinster House, Brussels or Strasbourg.
“I will stand up first and foremost in the interests of Ireland and Irish citizens. Unlike other parties, Sinn Féin will not kow-tow to each and every EU diktat.
“It’s time for strong Irish leadership in Europe.
“Sinn Féin will deliver that leadership. And I fully intend to win a European seat in this constituency to play my part in that delivery.”
There was a large Monaghan presence at the Radison Hotel in support of Matt Carthy. However Cllr. Carthy required and received support from party members hailing from the 15 counties included in the selection process.
Carthy was proposed at convention by his colleague Cavan Monaghan Dáil Deputy Caoimhghín Ó Caoláin. Deputy Ó Caoláin outlined Cllr. Carthy’s experience as a member of Carrickmacross Town Council since 1999 and Monaghan County Council since 2004 and a committed party member and community activist over many years. Cllr. Carthy was a young man with vast experience and would provide a capable and powerful alternative voice in Europe, Deputy Ó Caoláin stated.
Cllr. Carthy’s nomination was seconded by Pearse Doherty, Sinn Féin’s finance spokesperson and TD for Donegal South West. Deputy Doherty contended that the upcoming European elections would provide an opportunity for Sinn Féin to spell out a new direction for Irish and European politics, a direction that put people first and recognised the hardship caused by EU Austerity policy. Matt Carthy, he stated, would articulate the concerns of many Irish people and would be a fantastic MEP if elected.
Speaking this week Matt Carthy expressed his thanks to the Monaghan Sinn Féin organisation for a huge mobilisation for convention. He also expressed his gratitude for the widespread support he had received from party members across fifteen counties. He said that he intended to run a vibrant campaign aimed at securing a place in the European parliament on behalf of the hundreds of thousands of Irish people who had been neglected as a result of EU and Irish government policy.