Aontú’s Anne McCloskey to contest Westminster election in Foyle
Aontú Deputy leader and Derry City & Strabane District Councillor Anne McCloskey is to contest the election in Foyle on behalf of the party.
Dr McCloskey, a retired GP, has been nominated her party to contest the Foyle seat in the December election.
The core principles of the recently established 32 county all-Ireland Republican party are ‘to protecting life, Irish reunification and economic justice for all’.
Speaking in relation to news that there will be a Westminster election in early December, Aontú leader Peadar Tóibín TD stated that instead of heading to London, if elected, Aontú candidates in the north will head to Leinster House in Dublin and demand speaking rights in the Dáil and the Seanad.
Mr Tóibín said: “Irish Self-Determination is a central objective of Aontú. Self-Determination is a civil and human right that should be afforded to all Irish Citizens in Ireland. Brexit has highlighted in flashing neon lights the cost of allowing Westminster determine the future of the people of the north of Ireland. Tory MPs know little and care less about the north of Ireland. Yet they determine the future of everyone, north and south.
“100 years ago, Irish MPs, north and south, refused to attend Westminster and established the First Dáil. This was a practical step to further Irish Self-Determination. They took this step because they knew that decisions made close to the people that they affect are better decisions. Citizens can influence those decisions and hold decision makers to account. They also knew only too well that London would never make decisions in Ireland’s best interest. This has not changed in 100 years.
“This year Aontú MPs, if elected in the upcoming Westminster General Election, will present themselves to Leinster House in Dublin. We will demand that all Irish citizens throughout Ireland have democratic representation in Ireland’s national parliament. We will strive for a truly national parliament. We will demand speaking rights for Aontú MPs elected in the north of Ireland at Oireachtas Committees, in the Seanad and in the Dáil.
“There are precedents to this. Northern MPs currently have speaking rights in the Oireachtas Committee on the Good Friday Agreement. There are northern Seanadóirí in the Seanad. There is nothing stopping speaking rights for elected representatives from the north of Ireland other than the absence of the establishment’s political will. We intend to use our mandate to create the necessary political will.”
Mr Tóibín also said this week that the political system in the north of Ireland “is the most dysfunctional in Europe” as he condemned political pacts across the north. “Stormont is shut for more than 1000 days. 300,000 people are in poverty. 36,000 people received food parcels last year. 11,000 people are homeless and yet all the while the establishment parties collect their pay cheques.
“Establishment political parties rallying around one another to protect their power bases does not give confidence that the main players are in anyway interested in politics that benefits ordinary people.
“A new beginning is needed. This is a once in a generation opportunity to break the dysfunction. Aontú will do our utmost to make the new beginning happen north and south.”