Social Democrats nominate a candidate for Mayo

At a local selection convention held last Thursday night, Lahardane’s Aidan Browne was formally selected as the Social Democrats’ candidate for the Castlebar area in the forthcoming local elections.

Browne, who works in Film and Television production and holds a degree in Politics, had been seeking the nomination for several months and came into the convention with some momentum, having been a part of the recent successful campaign to save the Lahardane Doctor’s office, which garnered much attention.

While Browne’s name was the only one formally put to a vote, it was understood that he had not been the only one seeking a nomination from the party, Mark Gannon of Castlebar had also been interested but was forced to drop out at the last minute citing family commitments.

All this came just 24 hours before the Social Democrats launched their two-day national convention in Dublin this weekend. Party leader Holly Cairns’ speech was aired live on RTE1 on Saturday and she touted that the party would be seeking to run up to 100 candidates in the local elections and would stand a candidate in each of the 3 Irish constituencies in the European elections happening the same day.

This election cycle sees the Social Democrats making a major push into rural areas, Browne is amongst 65 already confirmed local candidates standing in counties such as Leitrim, Mayo, Galway, Kerry, Tipperary and Clare.

During Cairns’ speech, she stated the Social Democrats would be willing to go into coalition with other parties following the next general election, but the party’s “red line” would be the implementation of Slaintécare.

“Slaintécare” is a proposed Irish version of Universal Healthcare which, amongst other things, would make visits to a GP’s office and visits to A&E free at the point of entry.

Speaking about his recent nomination, Browne stated “I am pleased and honoured to have been selected, I believe I’m the first person from Addergoole in 25 years to have received a party nomination. I’m proud to be working with a party that’s putting healthcare and housing at the top of its agenda because those are exactly my own priorities.

I’m 33 years old, my party leader is 34, we’re a young party that understands the needs of young families because we’re personally experiencing all the same issues. We know all too well how important it is to have people on the ground fighting for public services, and I can say with confidence that if you support the Social Democrats, that’s exactly what you’ll get.”

The local and European Parliament elections will be held on June 7.