This morning in Dublin’s city centre, Nessa Childers MEP launched her election manifesto for the forthcoming European elections, which take place on May 23.
‘As a sitting MEP, I stand for re-election on a firm, proven track-record in Europe – especially in the areas of health and environment.’
‘Let’s really change the way the people of this country are represented out in Brussels,’ Ms Childers, who is standing in the Dublin consistency, said.
‘When the new terms begins later this year, I would hope that independents like me make up a majority of representatives elected by the Irish people.
‘If seven or eight out of our 11 MEPs – and that is a realistic figure – are independent or from a non-establishment party, then we can really drive change together.
‘Ireland needs to renegotiate our bank debt – we need to re-examine the crippling austerity that has been implemented by the Troika.
‘Independents in the Irish political scene are now a force to be reckoned with. They are challenging, influencing and changing the political landscape. No longer confined to the parish pump, independents are involved in national and European policy in a manner that is not feasible for back bench politicians trapped by the outdated whip system.
‘Fianna Fail, the Greens, Fine Gael and Labour have all had their chances; and sadly the results have been of little benefit to the ordinary, Irish person.
‘So, let’s together change tack – let’s challenge establishment thinking and establishment ways.’
Ms Childers, who lives in Clonskeagh in the south of the city, continued: ‘We must ask – to whom do we owe allegiance: the banking and financial sector across Europe, or our own citizens?’
Ms Childers’ campaign messages also includes building an alternative European and national policy based on promoting fairness, equality and solidarity. She strives to achieve this via: fairer taxation policies; economic stimulus programmes; transparency in political decision-making; stronger regulation of lobbyists; positive mental health strategies; greater EU supports for chronic illnesses; clearer food labelling; the driving of ambitious energy efficiency plans, and the protection of Ireland’s strong UN peacekeeping role.
Ms Childers further stated: ‘I don’t have a slick party-machine behind me, so I don’t have to toe a party-line or check-in with a coterie of advisors before speaking out. What I do have is strong support on the ground from people from all walks of life, who share my commitment to saying it like is and telling the truth.’
And she highlighted: ‘There is an alternative to endless austerity. We need to get back to a fairer and kinder way of living – with proper jobs for Dubliners. ’
Ms Childers concluded by thanking Tommy Broughan TD, Dr Tom Clonan, Senator John Crowne and Glenna Lynch for their support and for endorsing her campaign.