Fianna Fáil’s two candidates for the forthcoming General Election have set out a number of priorities after the party’s selection convention took place in Millstreet last Friday night.

Party members heard Deputy Michael Moynihan and Councillor Aindrias Moynihan will contest the General Election in the 3-seat constituency.

At the Fianna Fail Cork North-West Convention at the Wallis Arms Hotel, Millstreet, Selected to contest the next General Election were Sitting TD Michael Moynihan TD and Cllr Aindrias Moynihan. Picture, Tony O'Connell Photography.

At the Fianna Fail Cork North West Convention at the Wallis Arms Hotel, Millstreet, Selected to contest the next General Election were Sitting TD Michael Moynihan TD and Cllr Aindrias Moynihan. Picture, Tony O’Connell Photography.

Deputy Moynihan commented: “Fine Gael and Labour have failed our rural communities.  People living in towns across west Cork feel more isolated than ever before and they see no real sign from this government that his likely to change anytime soon.  One of the starkest failings of this government has been the lack of action on the mortgage crisis and high variable interest rates.

“Since the beginning of this year a number of banks have significantly stepped up their efforts to repossess family homes where the mortgage is in arrears.  Fianna Fáil has long warned that a growing number of families are facing the threat of repossession.  We believe a legislative framework is required to create a monitoring process for the level of competition in the mortgage market and the fairness of interest rates charged.  Why does most of the power still lie with the bank when we know this is a failed policy?

“Fianna Fáil has set out very clear priorities on health.  We want to put patients and services at the heart of real change in the health service.  This government’s decision to strip the National Treatment Purchase Fund (NTPF) of funding to tackle waiting lists for operations has resulted in over 400,000 languishing on waiting lists in Cork and across the country just be seen by a consultant.  Fianna Fáil is committed to establishing a special task force to produce a plan to ensure that all scheduled day case/in-patient care is delivered within the internationally recognised target of six months.  In the meantime the Government needs to restore the NTPF to its former role and properly resource it to tackle the waiting list crisis.

“Fianna Fáil is working to put our rural communities back on track.  We have concrete proposals to kick-start the local economy in many towns, reduce red tape and help people who want to start or grow their own businesses and help boost employment.  We want to end the slash and burn approach that has seen garda stations and important local services removed from our communities.  This has led to a heightened sense of isolation and an increased risk of crime.  Fianna Fáil will prioritise rural Ireland, protect and enhance the role of the local post office network and invest in key infrastructure such as high-speed fibre broadband.  These are my priorities for the next election and I look forward to working with my colleague Councillor Aindrias Moynihan through the campaign.”

Councillor Aindrias Moynihan added: “This Government is extremely out of touch and they are simply not delivering for the people.  There’s some recovery in Dublin, but people throughout the rest of country are being left behind.  It’s a two-tier recovery.  Our rural communities are been actively downgraded, with this Government directing social welfare business away from our Post Offices, closing Garda stations, and curtailing bus routes to name a few regressive decisions.  Clearly there’s an anti-rural Ireland bias within this Government and that needs to change.

“Fianna Fáil has been engaging with the public on the issues that affect everyday life.  We’ve held various meetings locally on mental health, education, agriculture and others.  From these important engagements we have been developing policies like the extensive Health Policy, Childcare plan, and initiatives to rejuvenate town centres.  These policies reflect the needs and desires of the ordinary people and I look forward to campaigning on these in the weeks and months ahead.

“We have great resources in this country and we have tremendous potential in tourism and agriculture and a well-educated workforce.  We need to put them to best use and deliver real reform, real progress and real jobs for our local communities.”