[Sinn Fein]

11th March 2003

Campaign begins to return Sinn Fein MEP for Dublin

McDonald selected as Dublin EU candidate

Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle member Mary Lou McDonald has been chosen by the party as the Dublin candidate for next year's European election. Speaking following her selection at the convention in Wynn's Hotel on Abbey Street Ms.McDonald said that "Sinn Fein is contesting this election to win, to return a Sinn Fein MEP for Dublin.' Ms. McDonald said:

"Sinn Fein has brought a new type of politics to Dublin and to the country as a whole. We want to eliminate the corruption so prevalent for decades and deliver real change. We are about empowering communities to make our country a better place to live for us all.

"Sinn Fein's success in the local and general elections shows that our agenda for change is popular. In the last decade Sinn Fein has gone from strength to strength in Dublin City. We stood in all twelve constituencies in the General Election and received more than 40,000 votes. We are contesting this election to win, to return a Sinn Fein MEP for Dublin. This is a realisable goal.

"Next years EU Parliament election will take place against a backdrop of change and challenges. The EU of today is a changed entity from that which Ireland acceded to some thirty years ago. It is not only desirable, but necessary to evaluate the direction in which this project is moving and the implication of that for Ireland.

"Deliberations on the Convention on the Future of Europe are now well underway. The new Treaty, which will result from this process, will mark the most radical reassessment of the EU political project to date.

"The public debate during the two referendums on the Nice Treaty reflected significant public disquiet about the political character of the EU. The people have demonstrated an appetite to engage, challenge and exert their influence on the shape and direction of the EU.

"Sinn Fein politics are about democracy, equality, the rights of citizens and of nations.   We are the radical alternative to the failed politics of the establishment parties who have been invisible for so long in Europe.

"We need a voice in Europe for the people of Dublin that will represent their views at a European level. Beginning today I will be going door to door throughout the city and county meeting ordinary people, community groups, womens groups, trade unions, business people and more seeking a mandate for change in Europe."ENDS

Profile of Mary Lou McDonald

Mary Lou McDonald is married to Martin Lanigan and lives in Castleknock, Dublin 15. Educated in Trinity College, Dublin, the University of Limerick and Dublin City University Mary Lou has studied English Literature, European Integration Studies and Human Resource Management.

She previously worked as a consultant for the Irish Productivity Centre, a researcher for the Institute of European Affairs and a trainer in the trade union sponsored Partnership Unit of the Educational and Training Services Trust.

She is the Sinn Fein representative for Dublin West and is keenly involved in many local community groups. She is a member of the Sinn Fein Ard Chomhairle and the party representative to the National Forum on Europe. She currently works for the party in co-ordinating the work of Sinn Fein elected representatives across the island.

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