Sinn Féin activists in North Antrim have chosen sitting MLA Daithí McKay as their party’s candidate for next year’s Westminster election.
At the party’s election convention held in Dunloy, he was selected unanimously by fellow members in North Antrim.
Speaking to the party membership he said: “First and foremost our thoughts should be with the workers of Gallahers and their families given the recent announcement by JTI that they will be closing the local factory here in North Antrim.
“Manufacturing is a key industry for North Antrim and these are some of the most highly skilled workers that we have in the sector.
“An immediate priority must be to create opportunities for as many of those workers as possible through retraining and/or placement and I have spoken to some within the manufacturing sector here who want to avail of the skillsets that many of these workers have.
“Politicians locally need to avoid bickering and focus on solutions for this workforce that involve existing indigenous businesses and attracting Foreign and Direct Investment.”
Mr McKay, who is the sitting Sinn Fein MLA for North Antrim, continued: “Sinn Féin provides a progressive voice for North Antrim whereas others do not.
“We are on constituents doors engaging with communities constantly about bread and butter issues that affect rural and urban communities alike.
“In North Antrim we have helped secure major capital works for local schools.
“We have delivered over £2million to community groups through Carrier Bag Levy legislation whilst delivering environmental benefits.
“We believe in the value of community and volunteerism and that is why we’re bringing forward legislation to abolish rates for amateur sports clubs.
“We support the development of our tourism product and we are opposed to any proposals for fracking that would undermine the unique offering that we have on the north coast.
“Sinn Féin believe in self government and a single island economy is clearly the only way we can improve upon the economic underperformance that other parties believe is something to celebrate.
“Westminster are not acting in our best interests through making decisions on taxation or indeed welfare. “A vote for Sinn Féin in this election will be a vote for change as the status quo is clearly not good enough for our constituents and our communities,” he concluded.
Daithi McKay was first elected to Stormont as North Antrim MLA in 2007.
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