Storm Gareth was no deterrent for Fine Gael’s European Election candidate for Midlands North-West, Maria Walsh, as she stepped out in Donegal yesterday. Known for her love of community, she was delighted to meet with local businesses, fishermen, and families throughout the county.

One of the youngest European Election candidates in Ireland who is advocating on a range of issues Maria said that if she is elected, a primary objective will be to propose 2022 as the European Year of Good Mental Health.  Maria is an ambassador for Jigsaw Mental Health and Pieta House and wants to continue this track record in delivering positive change at a European level.

Maria who has travelled the world as 2014 International Rose of Tralee, hopes to make Brussels and the Midlands North-West her home from May 24th, so she can advocate for rural Ireland, its communities and businesses on a European level.  Maria will ensure the communities throughout her constituency and the ‘new Irish’ who are coming home are strongly represented. Additionally, she will focus on safeguarding small farmers and SMEs who are faced with are key challenges which she will address if elected to Europe. It is also important to remember that 60% of those working inour local service industry are women so she believes there is a need for more funding and initiatives to help them to stay in business.

Maria has already visited many counties across the Midlands North-West to engage on a range of issues including CAP reform and its impact on agriculture.

She said: “Small farms play an integral role in supporting rural economies and maintaining the social fabric of rural areas. With 69% of EU farms less than 15 acres, this is a very important sector plays not only across the Midlands North-West of Ireland but across the entire EU.”

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