Fianna Fáil’s Frontbench Health Spokesperson Billy Kelleher has tonight been selected to contest the upcoming General Election on behalf of his party in the newly enlarged Cork North Central constituency.

Deputy Kelleher was the only candidate selected at the well attended selection convention in Cork’s Commons Inn Hotel, chaired by Michael McGrath TD.

Speaking to members, Deputy Kelleher commented, “A General Election is coming, and I am delighted to have been selected by my colleagues and neighbours to contest it on behalf of the Fianna Fáil party. This is going to be a really important election, where the people will be asked to choose what direction post-austerity Ireland goes.

“As every week passes, this discredited Government appears more and more vulnerable. Their only plan appears to be more of the same, cynical spin and pre-election stunts that have so irritated the public over recent years. They have no vision, they have no plan and they have no energy.

“Week after week they insist that we should be grateful for the recovery they say is underway, but they don’t seem to realise that for the majority of people, especially in my constituency of Cork North Central, there is no recovery. In fact, for many people there is a strong sense that things are actually getting worse for them.

“The Government tells them that they haven’t cut social protection and that they have cut taxes, but families see less money coming in than four years ago and they see more money going out on the various bills that have been imposed upon them. They see a health service in disarray. They see services suffering and they see children and older people bearing the brunt of the cuts introduced by Fine Gael and Labour.

“They don’t buy the spin and they are looking for an alternative. My job over the coming months is to demonstrate to constituents here in Cork and across the country that Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, is best placed to provide that alternative. Fianna Fáil is the party of equality and the party of opportunity. We will not be making any promises in the coming election campaign that we cannot keep, but equally we will be presenting a vision for a new way of doing public business in this country which puts fairness and the needs of citizens at the heart of Government policy. It is a challenge we relish.”