[Sinn Fein]

7 October 1996

Doherty selected as Sinn Fein Candidate for Donegal North-East

Sinn Fein Vice President, Pat Doherty, was last night unanimously elected as the Sinn Fein candidate for the constituency of Donegal North East in the forthcoming elections to Leinster House. Gerry McMonagle, from Letterkenny, was elected as the Director of Elections.

Speaking following the election convention which was held in the Hotel Clanree Mr. Doherty said:

``It is a great honour to have been selected once again as the Sinn Fein candidate for the constituency of Donegal North-East. Since the by-election in April Sinn Fein have continued to work on behalf of people throughout the constituency. We will now be holding meetings in various parts of the constituency in preparation for the elections.

``Sinn Fein in the 26 Counties has much to offer as an alternative to the failed policies of successive governments, particularly at this time of great change in Irish society. The main priorities for Sinn Fein in the months ahead will be the re-building of a genuine and inclusive peace process, tackling the total lack of resources for rural counties like Donegal and continuing to highlight the need for a systematic approach for the protection of the environment.'' Mr. Doherty continued:

``The border region has more challenges and more difficulties than many other areas in generating economic development and creating employment. It has endured decades of systematic underdevelopment by an over centralised narrow focused Dublin Government.

``Partition has divided a natural economic region. The net result of all of this has been needless emigration, depopulation, unemployment and ongoing economic underdevelopment.

``However it would be wrong to paint only a bleak picture. The benefits of the peace process for Donegal and the border region were tangible over the last two years and signal what would be possible if we had real negotiations leading to a lasting settlement.

``Despite all of the present difficulties Sinn Fein is committed to pursuing an inclusive and lasting settlement. The failed talks at Stormont have shown us the absolute need for an inclusive process of negotiations based on equality, with no preconditions and within a realistic timeframe.''

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