Sinn Féin’s Westminster candidate Chris Hazzard accompanied his Party President Gerry Adams, TD, on a whistle stop tour of South Down on Monday where they met supporters and constituents in Crossgar, Downpatrick, Castlewellan, Newcastle, Kilkeel, Rostrevor and Hilltown.
Describing the warmth of the welcome from local people as “very encouraging and similar to the reception Sinn Féin was getting on the doors throughout the constituency,” Mr Hazzard said that despite the wet weather there was a great atmosphere in each of the places visited.
“From the start of our tour in Crossgar to its finish in Hilltown people of all ages were keen to meet with Gerry Adams and I to wish the party well in the election.
“The warmth of the reception was very encouraging and I believe that if we can get the vote we received in the Assembly election South Down can make history by electing a Sinn Féin MP.
“The importance of this election cannot be overstated as it is an opportunity for the people of South Down to send a message to the Tory government who care nothing of our future well-being in the face of our forced removal from the EU.”
Chris said that it was clear from Monday’s canvas tour and from what is being said on the doors that people want to see political stability and the restoration of an Executive that respects diversity and treats all of its citizens equally.
“Sinn Féin wants to secure equal status for the Irish identity, marriage equality and bring to an end t the financial scandals that destablised the previous administration.
“Brexit threatens the future prosperity of South Down and indeed the entire border region because,” said Chris, “as a border constituency that relies on the free movement of business, people and goods we are at particular risk from a hard border.
“As the only all-Ireland party contesting this election with a significant and growing mandate in the Assembly and Dáil, and with the greatest number of Irish MEPs, we are best placed to secure designated special status within the EU so that the entire island of Ireland can enjoy jointly the benefits of the EU.
“This election was called to serve narrow right wing English Tory interests. The interest of nationalists and unionists are of no concern to Theresa May – her only interest is Brexit and its implications for her support base.
“Come polling day on the 8th of June the people of South Down can,” concluded Chris, “make history by electing a Sinn Féin MP who will be best place to fight for the best interests of this constituency in what will be difficult and challenging times.”