Dominic Hannigan, the Labour Party’s European Election candidate in the Midlands North West constituency, has issued a statement in response to Peter Casey’s announcement that he will contest the European election:
“At a time when European unity is under threat, and there has been a global rise in far-right extremism, Ireland needs representatives in the European Parliament who reflect the open and tolerant views of the overwhelming majority of our citizens," he declared.
“We have been rightly proud of the progressive changes brought about in Ireland in recent years – and of the leadership we, as a nation, have shown on issues such as LGBT rights and women’s rights.
“We have a long history of emigration, and Irish people have successfully integrated themselves into communities across the globe. In recent decades, communities here at home have also benefited from increased diversity and interculturalism.
“Peter Casey and I both left the country at roughly the same stage in our lives, and spent several years living abroad. However, we went down very different paths as a result; and returned to Ireland with strongly contrasting mindsets.
“Peter seems to hark back to an imaginary place of the past, where closed borders and closed minds prevailed. In contrast, I have never been prouder of my Irishness than in recent years, witnessing the growth in grassroots activism, the benefits of our increasingly multicultural society, and the widespread tolerance around sexuality, religion and reproductive rights.
“Peter Casey’s inflammatory rhetoric has no place in our progressive, modern Ireland. Peter has no political vision or experience: his only strategy for representing voters seems to be to fan the flames of discrimination and intolerance.
He concluded: “We have seen the catastrophic consequences in the US and Britain, when public personalities with no political experience are elected to office. It is my sincere hope that voters in the Midlands North West constituency will see through Peter Casey’s bluster and realise he is not equipped to represent Ireland effectively at a key time in the history of the EU.”
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