17th February 2014
By Bryan T. Smyth
Fine Gael Cork Senator, Deirdre Clune, has said she is proud to accept the challenge of securing a second seat for Fine Gael in the Ireland South constituency. Senator Clune was speaking after she was nominated alongside Sean Kelly MEP to contest the European Parliament elections for Fine Gael on the 23rd of May.
Senator Clune said : ‘In my 17 years in public life, as a Councillor, TD and Senator, one of the things that has been clearest to me is just how crucial our relationship with Europe is. Some parties and politicians choose to complain about Europe, or rail against decisions taken in Brussels. But we have to be conscious of how much has been achieved by Ireland during its membership of the European Union, and how important it is that we have a strong, coherent, constructive voice in Europe.
“Nothing is more important now than the issue of youth unemployment. This is sure to be the number one priority for the EU over the next decade, and this has been recognised through initiatives like the Youth Guarantee – which Ireland has been central to. Like so many in Ireland, I am a parent whose children who have moved abroad. I want to see this country – and this continent – providing the opportunity for all those who have left our shores to come back to help rebuild our economy, just as those who left in the 80’s but returned in the 90’s did.
“That means ensuring that the needs of our small and medium business are supported to grow and develop . These businesses are the backbone of our society, the people who will can provide employment in every small town and parish from Bantry to Bray. I want to be a strong and effective voice for Ireland in the next European Parliament: a parliament that, thanks to the work of Fine Gael’s very capable MEPs, is stronger today than it was 5 years ago. We must ensure that those we elect to the next Parliament continue to advance this cause and have the ability to negotiate on our behalf, to be effective in representing our needs and to articulate our ambitions.
“I was born with a Fine Gael membership card in my hand, and have represented the party on almost every stage, including the Council of Europe. I have worked extremely hard and enjoyed every minute. But I have always wanted the opportunity to stand for and be elected to the European Parliament. I believe passionately in the European project, and I understand that the future of Ireland is intrinsically linked with that of Europe. We need to make our voices heard on the European stage and, along with Sean Kelly MEP, I hope that the people of Ireland South will give me the opportunity to be one of those voices.”