Flash: Bairbre de Brun is SF candidate for Europe
Bairbre de Brun was this evening chosen as Sinn Fein's
candidate for the Six Counties in next year's European
election. Speaking following her selection at the convention
in Belfast Bairbre de Brun said that "Sinn Fein is contesting
this election to win, to return a Sinn Fein MEP for the Six
Counties and to be part of Sinn Fein's all-Ireland team in
Ms de Brun, a member of the party leadership and a Health
Minister in the suspended Stormont administration, defeated
Dungannon councillor and civil rights activist Francie Molloy
at a selection convention in Belfast. Party chairman
Mitchel McLaughlin announced last week that he would not seek
selection this time around in order to concentrate on matters
Sinn Fein believes the party can send a team of MEPs to
Strasbourg and Brussels from both sides of the border.
Ms De Brun is the second woman in the party to be selected for
the European election after Marylou McDonald in Dublin. The
DUP's Ian Paisley and the SDLP's John Hume will be among her
rivals for the three seats elected in the Six County electoral
She said: "The next twelve months will be dominated by events
in Europe - Dublin taking over the Presidency of the European
Union, negotiations on a new EU Constitution, World Trade
talks, CAP reform and redrafting the Common Fisheries Policy.
"All this will have a profound effect of people living across
Ireland. The EU of today is a changed entity from that which
Ireland joined 30 years ago. Sinn Fein are the radical
alternative to the failed politics of the establishment
parties who have been invisible for so long in Europe.
"In the last decade Sinn Fein has gone from strength to
strength as our agenda for change begins to have a real
impact. We want to bring this agenda to the heart of Europe.
We are contesting this election to win, to return a Sinn Fein
MEP for the Six Counties. This is a realisable goal.
"Beginning today I will be going door to door in the Six
Counties meeting ordinary people, community groups, women's
groups, trade unions, business people and more seeking a
mandate for change in Europe."
PROFILE OF BAIRBRE DE BRUN
Bairbre de Brun is the Sinn Fein spokesperson on equality and
human rights. She was the Minister of Health, Social Services
and Public Safety and was an Assembly member for West Belfast.
She was born in Dublin and now lives in the Andersonstown area
of Belfast. She is a teacher by profession and taught most
recently in the growing sector of Irish medium education.
Bairbre began her political career as a member of the National
Committee against the H-Blocks and Armagh Gaol in the late
1970s and early 1980s. She worked in the Women's Department
and was head of both the Cultural and International
She is a fluent Irish speaker and an expert in human rights
and equality issues. She is a member of the Ard Chomhairle and
of the Sinn Fein negotiating team and has travelled
extensively both in Ireland and abroad to promote the peace
process. Elected as a Sinn Fein Assembly member for West
Belfast in 1998, Bairbre was nominated by the party to the
newly formed Executive as Minister for Health, Social Services
and Public Safety.