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29 June 2000 Edition

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Sligo Corpo set to elect Sinn Féin Mayor

Sligo Corporation is set to elect a Sinn Féin mayor at its AGM on Monday when the present deputy mayor, Alderman Sean MacManus, will be nominated for the position. If elected as expected, it will be the first time that Sinn Féin has held the position of mayor anywhere in the 26 Counties since 1967 when, ironically, the late Councillor Norbert Ferguson was elected mayor of Sligo.

This latest development follows the recent election of Councillor Cathal Crumley as Mayor of Derry, the first Sinn Féin mayor in the Six Counties since partition. Sean MacManus, a member of Sinn Féin's ruling Ard Chomhairle and a senior member of the party's negotiating team throughout the peace process, is a member of both Sligo Corporation and Sligo County Council. He received over 20,000 votes in last year's European elections in the Connaught/Ulster constituency and has been selected as the Sinn Féin candidate in Sligo/Leitrim for the next general election. This is one of the key constituencies targeted by the party where Sinn Féin believes it can win Dáil seats this time around.

MacManus said: ``I am confident that Sinn Féin will be successful in securing the position of Mayor of Sligo next Monday, 3 July. As a Sinn Féin mayor, the people of Sligo will have a working man representing the ordinary people of Sligo, providing the dynamic for change and increased openness in local government. This mayoral term will be distinguished by its republican/labour character and the fact that it will be a mayoralty of and for the ordinary worker and local communities in Sligo.''

He added: ``We will utilise the mayoralty to spearhead resistance to the government's efforts to downgrade Sligo Corporation and to secure City Borough status for Sligo. The people of Sligo will have a strong voice to stand up for them, defend and promote their interests and needs and provide effective and honest leadership at a time when people are increasingly disillusioned with the establishment parties.

``We will ensure that the workings and decisions of the Corporation will become increasingly open, accountable and transparent.''

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