Waterside man Michael McCrossan has been selected to stand as a Sinn Féin candidate in the rural area in the upcoming local government elections.
The elections, which will see the merger of the existing Derry City Council and Strabane District Council areas, will be held in May.
Mr McCrossan, who lives in the Top of the Hill area of Derry, is well known in local youth political circles.
He has been involved in numerous campaigns with young republicans in Derry for several years and was recently elected as Ógra Shinn Féin chairperson in the city.
Through his involvement with the party, the Waterside man has travelled extensively on international delegations to Palestine and the Basque country and to the European Parliament in Brussels.
He also recently led a Basque solidarity demonstration at Free Derry Corner in support of Basque political prisoners.
Alongside his international focus, he has also been involved in youth campaigns calling for the expansion of the university at Magee, the retention of the EMA allowance for students, and various courses to raise awareness of issues around suicide.
Speaking to the ‘Journal’ about the forthcoming elections, Mr McCrossan said he is relishing the challenge of the campaign.
“I am looking forward to the next few months. It’s a big challenge but anyone who knows me, knows that I will bring all my energies to it,” he said.
He also said one of his main priorities will be to campaign to attract more jobs to the city in order to give young people the opportunity to stay at home.
“The lack of jobs and forced emigration of our young people is a recurring theme. The growing number of empty places around many family tables clearly shows that,” he said.
Mr McCrossan has said more investment is needed in rural areas in particular. “I believe that the best way to counter this problem is in the creation of new jobs, particularly in the agri-food industry.
“It is key to ensure a future for rural communities, keeping the family farm or business going to pass onto the next generation. It is vital in maintaining numbers to safeguard the local primary school, keeping the local GAA club going and the many small businesses that are the lifeblood of rural community.”