An Taoiseach Leo Varadkar has today outlined how Fine Gael have the right team, vision and plan for Ireland on the European stage and across the country at local level.
The Fine Gael leader was today joined by the party’s European and local election candidates at the launch of both campaigns at Tuar Ard Arts and Enterprise Centre in Moate, Co Westmeath.
“I have been Taoiseach for almost two years and I have learned that perhaps the most important thing for success is good teamwork. Having the right team, the right people.
“We’ve seen this in Europe, where our MEPs have played a vital role in ensuring that our issues and concerns are understood in the European Parliament. We all know that Europe has never been more important – for our communities, for our country, for our future. We need to have the best people.
“I believe we need councillors with vision and ideas and an optimism about the future. Councillors who support housing and economic development in their areas – Fine Gael councillors.
“These local and European elections come at a critical juncture in our history. They really matter for the future of our country and the future of Europe as well. So I have a simple message. Fine Gael has the best team. Fine Gael has the ideas and Fine Gael has the vision. Fine Gael has the right policies. Vote Fine Gael so we can take Ireland forward together,” Mr Varadkar said.
Fine Gael Director of European Elections Regina Doherty said the May 24th ballot for the three Irish European constituencies comes at a critical juncture in our history.
“They really do matter for the future of our country and the future of Europe as well.
“Whether it is job creation or a fairer social agenda, whether it is the right type of common agricultural policy and fisheries policy or leadership on climate change, we believe that Ireland can best contribute to a stronger, safer and more compassionate Europe by sending its best people to Brussels, and the Fine Gael ticket is the best team, bar none,” she said.
Four women; Mairead McGuinness (Midlands North West), Maria Walsh (Midlands North West),, Deirdre Clune (Ireland South), Frances Fitzgerald (Dublin) are running alongside Seán Kelly (Ireland South), Mark Durkan (Dublin) and Andrew Doyle (Ireland South).
“That is because, when we selected our candidates for Europe, we decided to put forward the strongest possible contenders – a serious team for a serious time – who can reflect all of this Island and who can represent all of us effectively,” Minister Doherty said.
Regarding the local elections, Fine Gael has selected 118 female candidates, the most of any political party, running from 405 candidates. Fine Gael is also ensuring that young people are well represented on its ticket with 46 candidates under the age of 35.
Fine Gael Director of Local Elections Minister John Paul Phelan said: “We have so many talented candidates all around the country and I am determined that we will increase Fine Gael representation across all our local authorities.
“Local Government is immensely important. It provides local accountability and decision making and is an integral part of our democratic process.
“Fine Gael is a party with candidates that have been drawn from all strands of Irish life and all parts of the country.
“I have been working closely with our candidates and I know they have the experience, they have the plan and a strong team behind them in Government with a proven track record of delivering for hard working people and their families,” he said.
Fine Gael’s European and Local Election manifestos can be viewed on: https://www.finegael.ie/