Fianna Fail members have selected their candidates for the European elections in the South and Midlands North West constituencies in two selection conventions held over the weekend. Their candidate for Dublin was selected last month.
Following competitive campaigns, Councillor Malcolm Byrne was chosen by members to contest the European Elections for the Ireland South constituency and Brendan Smith TD was chosen in the Midlands North West Constituency for the upcoming election to the European Parliament.
Cllr Malcolm Byrne said: “I am honoured that the Fianna Fáil membership in Ireland South has entrusted me with the responsibility to be their candidate in this very important election.”
“There are challenging times ahead for this country. As the British parliament struggles to find any consensus on the way forward and concerns grow across Ireland about the impact of a hard Brexit, the importance of having sensible and responsible Fianna Fáil politics in the European Parliament is increasingly clear.”
Tributes were also paid to Brian Crowley MEP who is retiring from politics at this election. Party Leader Micheál Martin said: “I would like to thank Brian Crowley for his dedicated service over many years. The close bond between him and this constituency was seen in the consistent and remarkable mandates he received over the years. The party and I wish him the very best in his retirement from politics.”
Speaking following his selection at the convention, Mr Smith commented, "I would like to thank the members of Fianna Fáil across the fifteen counties within this European constituency. I am honoured that they have placed their trust in me. This region has been without a Fianna Fáil voice in Brussels and Strasbourg for too long.”
“It was clear from speaking with members in every corner of this constituency that they grasped the importance of having a committed and experience voice in Europe at this crucial time. The chaos in Westminster and the uncertainties which lie ahead mean that a strong voice is needed in the European Parliament – I will be that voice,” he said.
Last month, party members elected Barry Andrews as their party’s candidate in the Dublin Constituency. Speaking after his selection, Mr Andrews said: “Dublin has been without a Fianna Fáil voice in Brussels and Strasbourg for too long. It is clear from the level of engagement in this selection process, the membership of the party are determined to fix that and I am very excited at the prospect of working with them. At such a crucial time for Europe and Ireland, with the impact of Brexit still largely unknown, a strong voice for Dublin is more important than ever.”
The European elections in Ireland will take place on Friday 24 May 2019 in conjunction with local elections.