AP front 1 - 2022

6 May 1999 Edition

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McLaughlin confident as 6 Co. Euro campaign kicks-off

By Caítlin Doherty

Mitchell McLaughlin is confident that the forthcoming European election can be a great success and that there is for the first time a chance that Sinn Féin could obtain the MEP's seat. Speaking in West Belfast, the Sinn Féin chairperson and Assembly member for Foyle said: ``European elections have traditionally proved difficult for Sinn Féin. However, in the period that elapsed since the last EU election there has been a considerable change in the political landscape. ]

He went on to say that the Sinn Féin vote has increased substantially. ``Our Assembly election vote of 143,000 is actually greater than the vote received by Ulster Unionist, Jim Nicholson when he secured a seat in Europe. Even a cursory examination of the statistics will show that from a Sinn Féin perspective there is everything to play for''.

Monday marks the official launch of the electoral campaign, but already efforts are underway across the Six Counties. Canvassing has started in many areas and is only set to intensify.

``We are up early and up and running, said Six Counties director of elections Ruth Lynch.''

It is not yet known what the election quotas will be, but Sinn Féin activists are confident that the 12 June poll will be an occasion to maximise the Sinn Féin vote, not only across the Six Counties, but also across the entire island.

The role played by the European Union in Irish society is an ever growing one. Securing a voice in Europe is a further way for republicans to push the agenda of peace, justice and equality as well as economic, social, political and cultural issues that will increasingly affect the lives of Irish citizens.

If you are interested in participating in Sinn Féin's European Election campaign, anywhere in the 32 counties, please contact your local Sinn Féin representative or office

An Phoblacht
44 Parnell Sq.
Dublin 1