Fine Gael has selected three candidates to contest the European Parliament Elections in the Ireland South constituency.
MEPs Deirdre Clune and Sean Kelly, and Minister of State at the Department of Agriculture, Andrew Doyle TD, were selected by Fine Gael members at the constituency selection convention in Clonmel today (Sunday).
MEP Clune said: “I am delighted and honoured to have been selected as a candidate. I will not waste the opportunity given to me today and I intend to use my time in the campaign to focus on the issues I believe the European Parliament will be dealing with over the next term.
“The most important task for Irish MEPs will be to shape the relationship the UK will have with Europe post Brexit and I want to use the experience I have gained over the past 5 years to influence this task.
“Ireland’s future does lie in the heart of Europe and we need to elect representatives who are committed to that statement and who are passionate about the future prosperity of our country.”
MEP Kelly said: “I am honoured to be selected to contest the upcoming European election and seek to represent Ireland South once again in the European Parliament. For the past decade I have worked tirelessly to make sure my constituents were well represented in Brussels and Strasbourg, and I am grateful for the opportunity to stand for election and continue this work.
“With Brexit imminent, the rise of populism across the EU, and an increasingly inward-looking United States, it is clear that we are at a critical juncture for the European Union and for Ireland. Now, more than ever, there is a need for experience and for influence at the highest level. I am therefore confident that I am the right person to continue my role as MEP for Ireland South for the next five years, and I look forward to contesting the election in May.”
Minister Doyle said: “I am honoured to have been selected tonight at the Fine Gael Selection Convention in Clonmel. I put my name forward because I fervently believe it is vital we put forward a strong ticket to return as many pro-European MEPs as possible.
“The European Union has been very good to us in the last three years and has shown solidarity to Ireland, and it would be remiss of us not to return a pro-European team to the European Parliament.
“The ticket selected tonight is the best balanced in terms of geography, gender and experience, and gives Fine Gael the best possible chance of securing an extra seat in Ireland South.”