Fianna Fáil members have selected Councillor Jennifer Murnane O’Connor to contest the forthcoming General Election in Carlow.

The convention was chaired by Fianna Fáil Spokesperson on Public Expenditure and Reform Sean Fleming TD and was held in the Lord Bagenal Hotel.

Speaking following her convention Cllr Murnane O’Connor commented, “I am delighted to have been selected by the local Fianna Fáil organisation to contest the forthcoming General Election on behalf of the party. The election is fast approaching and I have already begun campaigning on the ground in communities across Carlow.

“People are looking for an alternative to the current Government. They feel let down by Fine Gael and Labour who were elected on the back of countless false promises. The Government tell us 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.

“Carlow remains one of the hardest hit counties as a result of the economic crisis. Unemployment remains above average and our town centres have suffered hugely in recent years due to a lack of investment. Unfortunately Fine Gael and Labour have done little to alleviate the burden on Carlow people. They have failed to create the necessary supports for small and medium sized businesses to allow them grow and provide much needed jobs in Carlow.

“The IDA only visited Carlow twice last year and the latest figures available show that no visits have taken place so far in 2015. Much more needs to be done to support existing small businesses to allow them expand alongside encouraging entrepreneurs to setup new businesses in the county. How can we expect to attract inward investment if the Government is not instructing the IDA to showcase the potential that Carlow has to offer?

“The Government has been in power over four years now but despite this our health service remains in disarray. Earlier this year the number of people stuck on trolleys across the country reached record levels. The waiting list for outpatient waiting lists has never been higher. People are tired of Minister Varadkar telling us that the health system is itself healthy when all the available evidence suggests otherwise.

“My job over the coming months is to demonstrate to constituents here in Carlow and across the country that Fianna Fáil, the Republican Party, is best placed to provide a credible alternative to Fine Gael and Labour. 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.”