Independent Roscommon-South Leitrim TD Luke ‘Ming’ Flanagan’ has confirmed he will run for election to the European Parliament in May.
“I believe that Ireland needs to elect people to the European Parliament that carry with them the message that we have gone too far with this ‘European project’,” he said in a statement issued this morning.
“I also, if elected, plan to build on that potential voter base and to create a political environment whereby we could see another 10 independents elected from this region to Dáil Éireann in the spring of 2016.”
“I am in favour of Ireland being part of a European Community. This is what we joined in 1973. A block of nations looking to enhance their ability to trade with each other. However we are now no longer a member of a community, we are a member of a Union. A Union which kicked us when we were down. A Union that took the side of the bond holders and left us with a bill of €70billion. We need the EU to go back to being a community. It must be a community which puts people before bankers. A Community which foots the bill for the calamitous mistake that the project of monetary union has been. A community which treats small nations equally. Certainly not a community led by the leaders of Germany and France as is currently happening.”
Deputy Flanagan will be running in the new Midlands North-West constituency, where four sitting MEPS - Jim Higgins and Mairead McGuinness (FG), Pat ‘The Cope’ Gallagher (FF) and Marian Harkin (Ind) - are seeking re-election, with at least five other candidates will also running.
“Over the next eight weeks I look forward to debating the issue of our relationship with Europe. I hope to convince people that Ireland is capable of standing on its own two feet and to get the message out there that we are the givers rather than the takers,” he concluded.