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Gildernew receives massive endorsement from Joint First Minister
Published: 25 February, 2015
Michelle Gildernew MP received a massive endorsement from Joint First Minister, Martin McGuinness as a Sinn Fein candidate, reselected to contest the Westminster elections as she faces a tightly fought contest to hold the Fermanagh South Tyrone seat, which was previously held by Bobby Sands and Owen Carron for republicans.
Republican South Tyrone turned out in large numbers last night (Wednesday 25 February) for an important election workers meeting in a strong show of support for Michelle Gildernew MP's campaign to retain the symbolic seat for progressives in the elections which will take place on Thursday 7th May.
The upbeat and vibrant election rally took place on The Hill of O'Neill in Ranfurly House, Dungannon when local Sinn Féin election workers and key party supporters were welcomed to the packed venue by the Vice-Chair of Dungannon & South Tyrone Borough Council, Dominic Molloy before proceedings were skillfully chaired by Michelle's constituency colleague, Bronwyn McGahan MLA.
During the course of his impassioned address, Martin McGuinness paid tribute to Ms Gildernew's prowess as a "huge political personality who is well able in her field and extremely well liked across the community". Reflecting on the results of the last couple of Westminster elections in the historic constituency, the Joint First Minister spoke of Ms. Gildernew having won in previous elections by "the slimmest of margins." The leading figure of modern day republicanism spoke of "the need to put clear blue water between progressives in the mould of Michelle Gildernew, who are building peace and national reconciliation while moving on towards a better future for everyone" and "those who offer regressive politics based on the failed politics of the past".
Mr. McGuinness who earlier briefed his audience on political developments in the recent Stormont House Agreement said that he had no fears with regard the retention of the Fermanagh South Tyrone seat as Sinn Féin's "political opponents are clearly having problems in attracting a candidate of Michelle's caliber to contest the election.
"Michelle, a mother of a young family is rooted in her community and is offering progressive politics while reaching out to everyone to help build an inclusive society based on social justice."
With Sinn Féin's star in the ascendant in the 26 Counties and with prospects for a Left government, Mr. McGuinness pointed to the results of the recent European elections across Ireland when "Sinn Féin gained the party's best ever election results with almost half a million voters in the European Parliament elections making Sinn Féin the biggest party on the island of Ireland."
"The May 2014 European, local government and Dáil by-elections produced the most sensational results for Sinn Féin since the 1918 elections. Our elected representatives such as Michelle Gildernew are using political power wisely to secure the republican goal of a united Ireland based on social justice and equality.
"As we soon approach next year's centenary of the 1916 Easter Rising and the Proclamation of the Irish Republic, let us all further republican objectives by playing our part no matter how big or how small, when coming out to support Michelle's election campaign." ENDS
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