A Derry doctor who is standing as an independent candidate at this year’s Assembly election has launched her election literature.
Dr Ann McCloskey, a GP based at Shantallow Health Centre announced her intention to run last October.
The candidate told the ‘Journal’ that she is no in the process of delivering 20,000 election pamphlets to houses across the Foyle constituency.
In the leaflet Dr McCloskey says that she stands for and states: “Economic deprivation damages people’s physical and mental health. As a doctor working in Derry, I see every day the devastating impact of Stormont austerity on our communities. All economic indicators show that the Derry and Strabane Council area suffers most and this needs to change.
“I want to fight for ordinary people in Derry. The independent model of progressive politics offers an opportunity to effect radical change by delivering direct representation. A vote for an independent candidate is a vote against the party system.
“I will fight for transparency and accountability in our regional political political system just as independent councillors are currently doing in Derry, Strabane and elsewhere.
“As an in dependent I have full autonomy. I think for myself and make decsions based on the issues. I am not constrained by a party’s rules or policies, which means I have the freedom to be totally honest.!
Dr McCloskey also said that she is conscious that women are outnumbered 4 to 1 by male representatives in Belfast and “it is my belief that in any walk of life a gender balance is essential.”
The campaign leaflet also highlights the issues which Ann McCloskey says she will fight for if successfully elected. These include what she describes as proper investment in jobs, services and infrastructure for Derry; an end to the lie that austerity promotes economic recovery, a health service that actually serves; investment in an education system that serves everyone and affords equal opportunity; a university for Derry; an adequate public housing system; a robust suicide prevention strategy and local detoxification centre; to prioritise the environment-zero waste, no incineration and no election posters; the promotion of civil and human rights; protection of the vulnerable and better deal for women and children and Irish langauge rights.
Originally from the Waterside area of Derry, Dr McCloskey has spent 23 years as a medic in the Shantallow area and has been involved in a wide range of community based activity relating to health, social justice and human rights. She was also highly involved in a campiagn for the defence of Articles 2 & 3 of the Irish Constitution which held the Republic’s territorial claim to Northern Ireland and which were removed as part of the Good Friday Agreement.
Dr McCloskey was also a fiunder member of the Bogside and Brandywell Health Firum and was on the board of Culturlann Ui Chanain. “If elected, I look forward to working for the people of Derry in the coming years. Parties are magnets for control, corruption and incompetence, so think independently and vote independently,” she said.