Fianna Fáil members have selected sitting TD Sean Fleming and Cllr Catherine Ftizgerald to contest the next General Election in Laois.

The selection convention was held in the Heritage Hotel in Portlaoise and was attended by over 250 party members. The convention was chaired by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Justice and Equality Niall Collins TD.

Speaking following his selection Deputy Fleming said, “I am honored to have been selected by Fianna Fáil members to contest the upcoming General Election for the party. I will work alongside Cllr Catherine Fitzgerald and the local Fianna Fáil organisation over the coming months to ensure we have strong representation for communities in Laois in the next Dáil.

“Over the last four years I have seen first-hand the damage that the regressive policies pursued by Fine Gael and Labour have caused to communities across Laois. The Government has targeted the most vulnerable for savings while pursuing policies that benefit the top tier of society.

“Our towns and villages have been starved of investment as the Government focuses its efforts on Dublin. Small to medium sized businesses, which are the leading employers across Ireland, have been left to fend for themselves under this Government.

“Many families across Laois and south Kildare are not feeling the economic recovery being talked up by Fine Gael and Labour. Instead they feel that their household budgets are coming under ever increasing pressure as the Government introduces new stealth taxes and erodes core community services.

“In opposition, Fianna Fáil has led the way on issues like mortgage arrears, childcare and rural deprivation and will continue to be to the fore on these important issues. People are looking for a realistic alternative to Fine Gael and Labour and I believe Fianna Fáil can offer that alternative.

Cllr Fitzgerald commented, “Fianna Fáil will not be making promises we cannot keep.  However we have been, and will continue to bring forward policies which restore fairness by rewarding those who work hard, and takes care of those most in need.  We want to create jobs, improve services and ensure that communities are rebuilt and supported.

“Rural Ireland has been hit hard under this Government. Over the last four years Fine Gael and Labour have closed rural Garda stations, stripped resources from small schools and threatened the Post Office network with further cutbacks. There can be no doubt that Fine Gael and Labour will continue with the same policies if re-elected to Government.

“Small towns and villages across Laois and south Kildare have also suffered under this Government. Shopfronts remain boarded up with little sign of increased investment. People in Laois feel let down by this Government and are looking for an alternative. I look forward to working with my colleague Sean Fleming in the coming months to ensure Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, is best placed to provide that alternative.”