Mitchelstown woman to run for Sinn Fein in Fermoy area
As predicted, Sinn Fein announced Mitchelstown woman June Murphy as their local election candidate for the Fermoy Electoral Area this week. Hers was the only name before the party's selection conventon in the Firgrove Hotel in Mitchelstown on Monday night.
"She's living the life of the people she is seeking to represent," the party's area organiser Seamus Coleman, said of the young woman who is well matched with their strategy of running bright, articulate young women.
June agrees that she can identify with the hardships people are suffering as a result of the continued economic downturn. "My family have been affected by it, I've been affected," she says. The mother of one says she knows the battle to access services for children, understands the financial struggle people are living with on a daily basis.
"I felt I couldn't stand back. I had to be pro-active," she says of her re-entry to politics. June ran in the 2002 General Election for the party. She got 2,624 first preference votes in Cork East. It was, she says, "one of the biggest learning curves of my life."
"It was an amazing experience. It really opened up my eyes to a greater political world and will be of great benefit to me now. This is very different in other ways though - and rightly so. Local politics goes to the heart of communities."
June says Sinn Fein gives 'a fantastic platform' to women. "Your voice is heard, your views are taken on board. Women play a very big role. It's good to see that." It is worth noting that half of the people at Monday night's convention were women.
National issues have very much become local issues, she believes, as the effects of decisions made by the Government filter down to affect people's everyday lives.
"Property tax, water charges, losing medical cards, cuts in services to children. There's nothing that hasn't been touched. It's affecting everyone, children, job seekers, married couples, the elderly. The cuts are unbalanced, affecting those most in need. People don't know how they are going to pay water charges. They cannot afford to heat their homes," she said.
June believes the people don't trust their public representatives, nor do they feel protected by them. "Instead, they feel betrayed. No-one cares. No-one hears them," she continued.
If elected, she says she would strive to be more approachable, more accessible. "I would put time and effort into the communities I'd be representing. I want to engage with communities."
In June Murphy, Seamus Coleman says Sinn Fein are satisfied they have someone who will do as she says. June says she's never been afraid of hard work and likes to see things through.
June believes she's learned a lot over the last ten years. "I know my strengths and my weaknesses. I know I have the full backing of the party. That makes me feel stronger and more confident going out there," she told The Avondhu.
It goes without saying that she's looking forward to getting stuck in over the next ten weeks.
Thursday 20th March 6:00pm