Fianna Fáil’s candidates for the European Parliament Elections for the Ireland South constituency were confirmed in Tipperary this afternoon.
Sitting MEP Brian Crowley and Waterford-based activist Kieran Hartley have been selected to contest the election on May 23rd next. Kilkenny-based candidate Adrian O’Higgins, who was nominated for convention, withdrew from the race.
Fianna Fáil Leader Micheál Martin paid tribute to outgoing MEP Liam Aylward for his many years of service in local, national and European politics. He commented: “During Liam’s two terms in the European Parliament he built a big reputation for his work especially on the Agriculture and Rural Development Committee. He produced a very important and influential report on the sheep sector – and was a strong and effective voice for Ireland in Europe. I want to thank Liam for his great service to Fianna Fáil and to the people of our country. The Aylward’s have a record of service to Ireland which goes back to our struggle for freedom and Liam has written a new chapter which will long be remembered.”
Deputy Martin added: “There are many challenges facing Ireland and Europe and we need MEP’s who will represent people’s concerns and play a constructive role in tackling issues. We have selected a great balance between proven experience and a new face. There’s a reason why Brian Crowley has won the first seat in every one of the last four European elections – he’s a great MEP.
“I don’t believe there is a single MEP from anywhere in Europe who matches his energy for getting out and engaging with the people he represents. Every week without fail he is out on the road meeting groups, keeping them informed and listening to them. Now, more than ever, Ireland needs Brian Crowley working for it in Europe.
“I am very happy that joining Brian on the ticket we have Kieran Hartley. As a growing party which is striving to represent the people of a modern, changing country, the ability to attract new people is vital for us. Go throughout this country and you find communities outraged by a government which just doesn’t seem interested in listening to their concerns. Services they rely on are being closed down and projects they are against are being imposed against their will.
“Kieran has a real drive and commitment to serving people on the full range of issues. He’s a republican who believes in building a State which serves the people, and building a Europe which works with member states and listens to its citizens is an essential part of this.”