Sat, Dec
19 New Articles

McHugh to run for Dáil in Mayo


IN THE RUNNING Saoirse McHugh at the Count Centre in Castlebar last May. Pic: Michael McLaughlin

Edwin McGreal

The Green Party’s Saoirse McHugh will stand in the next General Election in the Mayo constituency.
The Achill islander confirmed the news to The Mayo News yesterday (Monday) after last week being selected by the Mayo branch of the Green Party to stand.
McHugh shot to prominence during last May’s European election campaign when she went from a rank outsider to a real contender following a strong showing on RTÉ days before polling.
She secured 64,000 votes and though she failed to win a seat, her showing encouraged her to stand again.
“I suppose it showed me that voters are looking for something different, that we don’t have to stick with the same old, same old,” she told The Mayo News. “There’s an appetite for change right through the country, people are waking up to the fact that the politicians we’ve been electing have not been representing us. The whole country has been sent down a dark road where profit takes priority over community. The results can be seen here in Mayo – towns and villages emptying out, schools and businesses are closing, small farms are forced to operate at a loss or sell up. Who is it working for except the super rich?” she asked.
While McHugh performed well in the European elections, that election was considered more suitable to a Green candidate than the Mayo Dáil constituency would be, where Fine Gael and Fianna Fáil have dominated the field for generations.
“I’m under no illusions as to the challenge ahead of me. Mayo has been a stronghold for both the major parties for decades, but where has it got us? It’s like a smoker that knows smoking is bad for them. Let’s break the habit and try something different,” said McHugh.
With no certainly over when an election will be called, McHugh is preparing herself for any potential snap election.
“In some ways it would be great to get stuck into it quickly but in terms of what I’m trying to do I’d like more time. It’s important to me to convince people that revitalising rural communities and protecting our environment can go hand in hand and should not cost people. We can do better than empty schools and closed up shops and getting bought off with bypasses,” she argued.