Mary Lou McDonald makes election plea at 1916 event

Mary Lou Mcdonald Makes Election Plea At 1916 Event
1916 Easter Rising commemoration, © PA Wire/PA Images
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By Gráinne Ní Aodha, PA

Mary Lou McDonald urged voters to back Sinn Féin candidates in the local and European elections during a 1916 event at Arbour Hill.

The Sinn Féin leader said that while Ireland’s “place is within the European Union”, the party would only support EU policies “when they are good for Ireland”.


She also said that electing as many Sinn Féin councillors as possible was part of the solution to the housing crisis.

Ireland will hold local authority and European Parliament elections in June.

1916 Easter Rising commemoration
Mary Lou McDonald speaks at a commemoration in Dublin of the 1916 Easter Rising (Niall Carson/PA)


Sinn Féin, which won its highest number of Dáil seats in the 2020 general election, has recently experienced an opinion poll slump.

In the wake of Leo Varadkar’s resignation as taoiseach, the party has pushed for a general election to be called; the three parties in government have indicated that they aim to remain in power until March 2025.

Speaking during the party’s 1916 Easter Rising commemoration at Arbour Hill on Sunday, Ms McDonald, a former MEP, set out her party’s position on the EU.

“Ireland’s place is within the European Union, but we also know that the Irish people are best placed to make the decisions that affect them, particularly on issues such as foreign affairs, taxation and investment in public services,” she said.



“We believe passionately in the independence of Ireland’s foreign policy, in defending our military neutrality, in standing up for a Common Agricultural Policy that delivers for family farmers.

“For far too long Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have been far too deferential to the European Union. Sinn Féin is different.

“Lynn Boylan and Daithi Doolan are not afraid to stand up for Ireland,” she said of the party’s European election candidates in the Dublin constituency.


“That is why we must leave it all on the pitch to get them elected to the European Parliament.”

She also said: “The work done by local authorities is so important and takes on an even greater importance because of the housing crisis. Electing as many Sinn Féin councillors as possible is part of the solution.”

Ms McDonald also criticised Independent TDs who plan to approve newly appointed Fine Gael leader Simon Harris as the next taoiseach, as she repeated her calls for a general election.

She called on Moore Street, where 1916 leaders met before the rising, to be protected and restored and “not torn down in the name of profit”, and also appealed for Israel to “end its slaughter” in Gaza.

She also praised Michelle O’Neill for “(proving) herself to be true to her word” when she promised to be a “First Minister for all” in Northern Ireland, while also saying that the “destiny of the Irish nation is on the horizon”.

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