Galway East Senator Lorraine Higgins has been selected by Labour to run in the the new Midlands/North-West constituency in the upcoming EU Elections.
Her candidacy was rubber-stamped at Sunday’s Labour selection convention in the Mullingar Park Hotel. However, Labour have yet to unveil their candidates that will contest the three local electoral areas in Longford on May 23 next.
Party sources previously outlined that it was their intention to run at least one candidate in each of three electoral areas (Ballymahon, Granard & Longford).
But with polling day just twelve weeks away, the Labour press office confirmed to the ‘Longford Leader’ that they have “nothing to announce at this stage regarding candidates in Longford Electoral Areas.”
Ms Higgins says her political journey began five years ago after the she saw for herself the devastating impact the recession had on rural Ireland.
“At that time, the economic downturn and deep recession was taking hold,” she said, adding that thousands of jobs were being lost every month.
“People – especially those of my generation - were leaving our shores to find a brighter future elsewhere, away from their families and loved ones. I was angry about what was happening and I wanted to do something about it. As a young woman in my 20s I couldn’t just stand by and do nothing.”
Returning to her native Athenry in 2009, having lived in Dublin for seven years, Ms Higgins explained that she was “shocked” to see what was happening in her own town.
Later that year, her friend decided to run in the local elections and she became his campaign manager. “Together we spoke to people across his local community and heard their concerns and felt their despair.”
Three weeks from the election, her friend had to withdraw. Thinking of all the positive work that was done ,she put her own name forward and secured election.
Senator Higgins concluded, “I believe our membership of the EU is a force for good. My priorities in the European Parliament will be to represent the large and small towns of Midlands/North-West; to continue the good work that has been done in tackling youth unemployment, and to continue to press for a deal on Ireland’s legacy banking debt and I want to ensure that the young people across the 15 counties of the Midlands/North West are employed.”