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Friday, 22nd February 2019

Renua launch EU and local election campaigns

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Renua Ireland EU candidate Michel O’Dowd (left) with local candidates Maria McCabe and Eamon Sweeney with at back Party leader John Leahy.

There was good turnout last night at the Westcourt Hotel for the launch by the Renua Ireland party of both its candidate in the Midlands North-West constituency in this year’s EU parliamentary elections Michael O’Dowd and its two local election contenders Maria McCabe and Eamon Sweeney.

Introducing the three candidates, the Renua Party leader John Leahy said that Renua was running 25 – 30 candidates in various constituencies around the country in the local elections but that O’Dowd was their only EU candidate.

He said the party’s core beliefs could be summed up by their “Six Pillars”:

  1. Putting the taxpayer first – Making work pay which would involve cutting taxes for working people.
  2. Entrepreneurship – Rewarding job creators
  3. Law and Order – Ensuring Crime doesn’t pay by the use of tough laws and hard sentences for offenders.
  4. Pro- Life – Protecting the rights of the most vulnerable. “We believe protecting the unborn is the biggest human rights issue of the age.
  5. Nation State – Bringing Power back to the people.
  6. Cohesive Society – A stronger, fairer society, to create a better future for all Irish people.

Michael O’Dowd said the key pillars for him are family, community and country which he said includes his passion for advancing the rights and needs of people with disabilities.

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“In terms of Brexit, it is crucial that the Irish Government presses ahead with plans for Irish unity as the people living along the border will not accept checkpoints, soldiers and armed forces dividing their communities.’’

“In this campaign, I want to give a voice to the silent majority who reject the current direction of this Government.

“In particular I will challenge the rotten system within the HSE Intellectual disability services that plays to the tune of private service providers rather than directing resources at those that need it most. My campaign will rock that boat and, if successful, sink it without trace.

“I am also going to raise the continuing genocide of unborn children with Down syndrome across Europe. Governments, Ministers and MEPs have been silent on this for far too long. Being silent is being complicit.

Michael has been a highly active campaigner for the rights of people with intellectual disabilities for many years and is a former board member of Down Syndrome Ireland and a board member of Ablevision Ireland, a media production and training company for people with intellectual disabilities.

He also gave a commitment to work towards the achievement of city status for Drogheda and to promote the recently launched M1 Corridor initiative to attract investment and jobs to the area.

The Renua candidate in the Drogheda Urban area, disabled rights campaigner Maria McCabe, said the reason she put her name forward was she felt she could “…make this town better place to live, work and play in.”

She spoke about her campaign to put an end to the habit of some selfish drivers of parking on footpaths thus blocking the way of wheelchair users like herself and pedestrians with buggies. She referred also to places in Drogheda that are not accessible saying that, if elected, she felt that she could change this which again would benefit wheelchair users, mothers with buggies and the elderly.

The Renua candidate in Drogheda Rural, Eamon Sweeney, a farmer from Termonfeckin, said that he wanted to be a voice for the small farmer. “Local politics is all about having a connection to your community” he said, adding that his focus was on rural, especially agricultural, issues. He added that he was confident that he had the skillsets needed to represent the rural constituency.

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