Aontú, Ireland’s newest political Party, has held its first public meeting in the Upper Bann Constituency.
At the meeting Party Leader, Peadar Tóibín TD, announced the nomination of two candidates to contest the forth coming Local Government Elections for the Armagh City, Banbridge and Craigavon Council.
Sitting councillor Fergal Lennon will contest his current seat in the Craigavon DEA while local business man Martin Kelly will stand for election in the Armagh DEA.
Announcing councillor Lennon and Mr Kelly’s candidature last Tuesday night, Deputy Tóibín noted that in the last 10 weeks 5,000 people have attended Aontú public meetings and the party expects to select 70 Local Government candidates across the island.
“In the three months of its existence the new party has established structures in 60 electoral areas and tonight’s meeting is the start of a process of building a structure to support councillor Lennon in retaining the Council seat for Aontú,” he said.
The Party Leader pointed out that a similar process had started in Armagh City last month and a team was already in place to support Martin Kelly.
Replying to a query on the stalemate at Stormont the TD stated: “It’s extraordinarily damaging that Stormont remains in cold storage the establishment parties show no urgency in lifting the shutters even though food, housing and heath poverty is increasing in the North.
“The northern economy is suffering; there is no focus on replacing the hundreds of millions of pounds in lost CAP funds for farmers. There is direct rule from London in all but name. Three Westminster budgets in a row have been imposed on the north.
“The twin governmental approach of placing their heads in the sand is no longer sustainable. Ministerial seats must be filled in order to make vital bread and butter decisions.
“If they are not filled by consent, they should be filled through Joint Authority now.”