McDonald Says South Down Is Key Driver For Change In Irish Politics
Sinn Féin Uachtarán Mary Lou McDonald has says South Down is becoming a “key driver” for change in national politics and is “at the heart of building a new Ireland” as she backed the election of Sinéad Ennis and Cathy Mason as “strong voices” to continue real change in the area.
Addressing a crowd of more than 200 people in The Donard Hotel on Thursday evening in Newcastle, the Sinn Féin President said: “Sinéad Ennis and Cathy Mason are a strong voice for South Down and present a positive vision for the region and its people.
“The change Sinn Féin is leading in South Down and across Ireland is about putting families and workers first.
“Our priority is to make politics work, to show that real change is possible. That means strengthening our health service, giving our children a world-class education, building affordable homes, making our communities safer, protecting our rural way of life and creating good jobs so the next generation has a future here.
“It means supporting workers and families struggling with the cost-of-living crisis. It means having conversations, listening, and planning for a new Ireland. People want us working together to prioritise these issues, and power-sharing can work if those involved are committed to it.
“In recent months the all-Ireland economy has been surging as the Protocol has protected local businesses from the worst excesses of Brexit. Nowhere is this more visible than areas like South Down, where local firms are seizing opportunities to expand and create new jobs.
“This opportunity must be built upon because it is in our shared economic interest.
“For example, it makes complete sense to finally start marketing our small island as a single tourist experience. Historic regions like County Down would then be fully integrated into the South’s hugely successful tourism brands such as ‘Ireland’s Ancient East’.
“Cross-border transport links should continue to be enhanced so that the island increasingly operates as a single economic unit within which people can easily work, trade, and visit. Ultimately our economic potential will only be fully realised when the island’s two economies are fully harmonised and when we govern our own economy in our own interests.
“Thats the real change that Sinn Féin is prepared to provide, and absolutely wants to provide. We must make politics work through co-operation and delivery. We must embark on a far-reaching mission of transformation. We must make this our decade of opportunity.”