NEWLY elected Fianna Fáil vice president Lisa Chambers has said it is a ‘huge honour’ to be elected as the youngest vice president in the history of the Fianna Fáil party, and just hours after her appointment the ambitious 25-year-old is already making plans for her political future.
Chambers, who was a Fianna Fáil candidate in Mayo in the last general election, was elected by delegates at the party’s Ard Fheis in the RDS in Dublin at the weekend.
The Ballyheane woman has now stated that she hopes to run in the 2014 Local Elections in Mayo. Speaking to The Mayo News yesterday she said, “Absolutely yes my intention is to run in the 2014 Local Elections in Mayo.” She added that she was hopeful that her new role as vice president would give her an opportunity and a platform which will be greatly beneficial.
Speaking about her appointment, Ms Chambers said because there was so many nominations and it was so competitive her election as vice president is all the more special.
“It’s a huge honour, I’m delighted with my new role. You’re never confident in a situation like that, so I’m just delighted.”
Lisa Chambers surprised many observers at the Fianna Fáil Ard Fheis by securing the second of five vice presidential positions. Four of the five positions were subsequently filled by women while half of the newly elected ‘committee of twenty’ members on the National Executive are also female.
Ms Chambers said it was unfortunate that Fianna Fáil presently have no female TDs in the Dáil but she said she was optimistic that the party was now endeavouring to make changes that can enable female representatives to progress and excel within the upper echelons of the party.
The Dublin-based barrister stated that she believes the large representation of female appointments at the Ard Fheis is testament to the calibre of female candidates within the party. She said she is also excited about her position as a youth representative and her opportunities to engage with grassroots members.
“ I think it’s fantastic being a woman and being so young that I’ve been given this opportunity and I thank all those who voted for me. For the first time, there were more women than men elected this weekend. This is a testament to the calibre of the female candidates and a true sign of Fianna Fáil’s real commitment to reform. We are committed to radically increasing female participation in politics, and the Ard Comhairle will lead the way,” added Ms Chambers.
Fianna Fáil justice spokesperson Dara Calleary congratulated Ms Chambers on her ‘fantastic achievement. He added, “I want to thank all of those from Mayo who travelled up to the Ard Fheis and made their voices heard about the future of the party.”
Speaking about the speculation during the weekend linking the Ballina native to the new deputy leader position Ms Chambers said, “It wasn’t really about the deputy leadership [at the Ard Fheis] so we weren’t really discussing that.”
The appointment of a deputy leader is purely at the discretion of leader Michéal Martin and he is expected to make his announcement in the near future.
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