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Voting for Fine Gael candidates is a vote for delivery across the country – Harris

FG launch European & Local Elections manifestos

27th May 2024 - Fine Gael Press Office

Taoiseach Simon Harris has said voting for Fine Gael candidates at next week’s European and local elections is a vote for a party that delivers for the country.


The Fine Gael party leader was speaking today at the launch of his party’s European and Local Election manifestos in Dublin city centre.


He said:


It’s time to turn our economic success into further tangible benefits for our people. That is what a vote for Fine Gael on June 7th will mean.


“A vote for a Fine Gael is a vote for new energy and delivery.


“In government, Fine Gael delivers the change our citizens need to feel secure for the future. Credible change, founded on a strong economy and full employment.


“Plenty of people in this election will promise you change. They won’t tell you what it means but I can.


“It means they’ll change their mind at every bend in the road. It means they’ll leave you with less change in your pocket.


“It means the kind of change Sinn Féin is promising where they are telling you one thing but telling Davy Stockbrokers something else. Where they are blitzing the boardrooms with a charm offensive to tell them: ‘Don’t worry, we’re only talking about change’.


“In the local and European elections on June 7th, vote for the party that delivers for Ireland. Vote for new energy. Vote Fine Gael,” the Taoiseach said.


Fine Gael has always had strong women representing their constituencies on the European stage in Brussels and Strasbourg.


MEP Maria Walsh, Senator Regina Doherty and Nina Carberry are seeking to keep this proud tradition going. MEP Sean Kelly is our leader in Europe and is joined by experienced businessman John Mullins in the Ireland South constituency.


Deputy Simon Coveney, a former MEP, is the party’s director of elections for the European Elections. He said:


“Fine Gael has ensured that through challenging international times, Irish interests are always well served and at the forefront of the work all our MEPs in the European Parliament.


“Working with our partners in the European People’s Party (EPP), the largest political party in the EU, we will continue to ensure this is the case. Extremely troubling events are taking place either inside or close to European borders in the Ukraine and Middle-East.


“This is a time to stand united with the European Union and the 26 other member states to ensure Ireland is best positioned to face the international challenges that arise in the future. Events of the last decade have shown we require nothing but the best MEPs to represent in the best possible fashion.


“In Sean Kelly, Maria Walsh, Regina Doherty, Nina Carberry and John Mullins, every part of this country is guaranteed their interests will be better served.”


Of Fine Gael’s 339 local elections candidates, 97 are women and 242 are men. This is an exciting time for Fine Gael with 123 candidates (36pc) running for the first time. A total of 207 elected councillors are seeking re-election.


Sixteen of Fine Gael’s 339 candidates come from migrant backgrounds.


Deputy Damien English, is a former Meath County Councillor, and serves as Fine Gael’s Director of Elections for the local elections. He said:


“Local representation is the lifeblood of Irish politics. Fine Gael is only as strong as its grassroot members and the diverse men and women hoping to be elected in 166 local electoral areas on June 7th are absolutely key to strong and vibrant communities across the country.


“We are in this to win it and all our candidates are canvassing day and night to ensure we get the best possible result.


“We have a great mix of level-headed, talented, experienced, community focused candidates who will effectively ensure the voices of their voters and constituents’ will be heard in the 31 council chambers across the country,” Deputy English said.


Both manifestos can be viewed here:



Fine Gael’s European Priorities:


Security and Defence Fine Gael will work with our EU partners on a more assertive foreign, defence and security policy. Fine Gael will be in the room, representing Ireland, when EU Member States work out the future of European Co-operation on security and defence.
Migration Fine Gael will implement the new Pact on Migration and Asylum and establish a system that’s firm but fair. There’ll be a greater emphasis on faster processing times, quicker decisions, better screening, and more efficient returns.
Social Issues Fine Gael supports the establishment of a European Guarantee for Older Citizens, will seek the swift implementation of the EU Disability Card, and the expansion of the Irish Free Travel Scheme to all of Europe.

Fine Gael will work to ensure Ireland swiftly implements the new EU law to combat Violence against Women and Domestic Violence.

Farming and Food Fine Gael will engage in a new partnership on agriculture where farmers are central to the delivery of our food, environment, and rural development targets. We will fight for a post-2027 CAP budget that reflects the importance of the work farmers do, and we will work to retain the Nitrates Derogation.

Fine Gael will ensure that trade deals will require other countries to meet the same high standards that our farmers, producers and businesses meet.

Climate Action Fine Gael will ensure the implementation of the Nature Restoration Law is fair, backed with proper funding, and involves consultation with communities. Fine Gael will work to improve our European electricity grid with better and more interconnection so that we can become net exporters of renewable (wind) energy.
Business Fine Gael will advocate that new EU laws are only passed if they are needed and minimise additional regulations on small businesses.

Fine Gael will strongly defend Ireland’s Corporate Tex Regime and we will insist that Irish tax policy continue to be set in Ireland.




Fine Gael’s Local Election Priorities:


More homes, more home ownership 1.      Fine Gael will ensure each local authority develops and implements a Housing Delivery Action Plan for their area with targets for social and affordable homes.

2.      We’ll ensure an up-to-date nationwide audit of land and ensure the best use of publicly-owned land.

3.      We’ll extend the Help to Buy Scheme and the First Home Scheme for another five years.

4.      We’ll increase the Rent Tax Credit every year and work to keep small landlords in the market.

5.      We’ll make grants, such as the Croí Conaithe grants, more flexible, including exploring staged payments.

Backing Small Business and Enterprise 1.      Fine Gael will implement an enhanced SME test at the national level to ensure any major new policies do not adversely impact businesses.

2.      We’ll ensure that upcoming reforms, such as auto enrolment and the living wage, are viable for businesses.

3.      We’ll enhance the essential role played by Local Enterprise Offices.

4.      We’ll reform commercial rates for businesses across the country, ensuring fairness and transparency.

5.      We’ll continue to waive street furniture license fees for tables and chairs used for outdoor dining

A new deal for Rural Ireland and farmers 1.      Fine Gael will work to secure a well-funded CAP and ensure the voice of farmers is heard.

2.      We’ll work to ensure Ireland’s coastal communities secure an appropriate share of Fisheries funds.

3.      We’ll encourage local authorities to engage in a partnership approach with farmers in areas like water quality.

4.      We’ll push for further increases in funding for our Agricultural Shows in the years ahead, as resources allow.

5.      Fine Gael councillor will work in partnership with government, state agencies, local authorities, industry and farm organisations to bring forward practical solutions which benefit farmers and help Ireland retain our derogation after 2025.

Enforcing law and order 1.      Fine Gael will support communities in designing a safety plan for their community and we will ensure funding for implementation.

2.      We’ll roll out new powers to introduce CCTV in key areas to improve public safety.

3.      Fine Gael councillors will support An Garda Síochána to roll out a nationwide text alert initiative to allow for a new and innovative way to report issues directly to An Garda Síochána.

4.      We’ll increase penalties for knife crime and strengthen the use of anti-social behaviour orders (ASBOSs).

5.      We’ll introduce Community Safety Partnerships around the country, with a much broader involvement of stakeholders.

A firm and fair migration system  1.      Fine Gael We will maintain a migration system that is firm, fair and enforced, meeting the unprecedented challenges ahead.

2.      We will move away from the emergency use of hotels and other tourist accommodation for housing asylum seekers.

3.      We will ensure that local communities that provide accommodation for asylum seekers receive additional services and resources.

4.      We will ensure that State agencies work together to address the accommodation issue, ensuring encampments are not allowed to develop over months.

5.      We are significantly decreasing the time it takes to make decisions, making it clear to ineligible applicants that there is nothing to gain from falsely claiming asylum.

Better public services funded by a strong economy 1.      Fine Gael will promote transparency in the Local Property Tax, ensure meaningful public consultation and provide taxpayers with an annual report on their money is being spent.

2.      We will maximise the discretion councils have on roads funding and we’ll introduce a new budget for road maintenance, and increase funding for the Local Improvement Scheme.

3.      We’ll drive delivery of active travel, safe routes to school, and greenway programmes through local authorities and we’ll work with communities to deliver BusConnects.

4.      We’ll work with City/County Childcare Committees, expand and develop the network of Family Resource Centres, and update planning guidelines to ensure the development of more childcare facilities.

5.      We’ll ensure better engagement with Uisce Éireann and councillors and ensure adequate funding for water and wastewater infrastructure  – the backbone of all development.

Healthy and sustainable communities 1.      Fine Gael will ensure councillors can input on the local health services through the Regional Health Forums. We’ll work to expand the network of primary care centres as well as the community role of pharmacists.

2.      We’ll promote better access to sports and physical activity, including infrastructure, while also working with councils to access the national funding programmes.

3.      We’ll promote the uptake of renewable energy, including solar and wind, and we’ll create a network of demonstrator hubs and repair centres for communities.

4.      We’ll drive forward the network of working hubs, with dedicate spaces for local entrepreneurs and start-ups.

5.      Fine Gael Councillors will work with local authorities and communities to access the valuable funding from national government, including the Community Centres’ Fund, the Town and Village Scheme, the Outdoor Recreation Scheme, and we’ll ensure all communities – urban as well as rural – can access these vital schemes.

6.      Fine Gael councillors will work to ensure communities cater for all at every stage of life.


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