*Michael McNamara TD (IND)

CLARE TD, Michael McNamara (IND) has confirmed he is putting his name forward to contest the European elections.

The Clare Echo first reported at the beginning of April that the Scariff native was considering the prospect of running in the European elections for the second time. He previously ran in 2009 for the North-West constituency where he polled 12,744 first preference votes which worked out as 2.6 percent of the valid votes, Marian Harkin (IND), Pat ‘the Cope’ Gallagher (FF) and Jim Higgins (FG) were the successful candidates for that election.

He becomes the third Clare candidate in Ireland South alongside Michael Leahy (IFP) from Corofin and Cratloe’s Eddie Punch (IND).

Since then, Michael has been elected to the Dáil on two occasions, first as a Labour TD in 2011 before losing his seat in 2016 and he was then the first Clare TD elected in the 2020 General Election when running as an Independent.

A farmer and barrister, Michael served as Chair of the Special Committee on Covid-19 Response.

On his reasons for opting to go for Europe, Deputy McNamara explained, “When the Irish people voted for greater integration of the European Union, they voted to opt out of justice and immigration measures for reasons as valid now as then. This government is intent on ceding these key areas of national sovereignty to Brussels. That’s why, more than ever, we will need representation in Europe asking the difficult questions”.

“Over the past few years, many people have felt unrepresented in the making of decisions that affect their lives. I have questioned the Government and tried to make them explain the decisions they make, and I will be asking people for their support to do the same in Europe where more and more of the decisions that affect us in Ireland are made,” he said.

Agriculture and renewable energy were cited by the Clare TD as key issues for him should he be elected. “I am committed to protecting family farms, which uphold the highest environmental and welfare standards, from greedy multinational retailers and conglomerates, as well as calling for the introduction of price transparency in the food chain at a European level, which our government has resisted domestically,” explained McNamara. “Funding will need to be put in place before farm families on marginal land, who are already under pressure, are required or asked to curtail agricultural activity. While immigration reform is being carried out, the European Union must use its position in the world to address the root causes of mass migration”.

A vocal critic of the slow pace for developing offshore energy off the coast of Ireland, he said, “I will be a strong advocate for Ireland’s offshore wind energy sector, with its vast potential held back by government inertia, as has our biomethane sector”.

Supporting Shannon and regional airports to reach their full potential continues to be a priority for him. McNamara said he would also use his position as MEP to advocate for funding as part of the European Green Deal to increase Ireland’s housing stock through the conversion and renovation of upper floors over commercial units on the streets of every town and city in Ireland South into residential accommodation. He also said he would work to ensure those on hospital waiting lists can obtain treatment in other European states.

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Subscribe for just €3 per month

If you’re here, you care about County Clare. So do we. Did you rely on us for Covid-19 updates, follow our election coverage, or visit The Clare Echo every week for breaking news and sport? The Clare Echo invests in local journalism and we want to safeguard its future in our county. By becoming a subscriber you are supporting what we do, will receive access to all our premium articles and a better experience, while helping us improve our offering to you. Subscribe to clareecho.ie and get the first six months for just €3 a month (less than 75c per week), and thereafter €8 per month. Cancel anytime, limited time offer. T&Cs Apply. www.clareecho.ie.

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