Verona says she will run in gen­eral elec­tion

New Ross Standard - - FRONT PAGE - By DAVID LOOBY

‘MY time with Fine Gael is over, I have moved on, I am now an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date.’

So says Verona Mur­phy who has promised to be lo­cal and vo­cal by fighting for the peo­ple of County Wex­ford if she is given a man­date to do so.

In an ex­clu­sive in­ter­view with this news­pa­per she has an­nounced her can­di­dacy in the Gen­eral Elec­tion as an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date.

Ms Mur­phy came third in the by-elec­tion, hav­ing been in sec­ond place be­hind Mal­colm Byrne by virtue of a strong 9,543 first pref­er­ence vote – be­fore be­ing leapfrogge­d by Wex­ford Mayor Ge­orge Lawlor – fol­low­ing a mas­sive trans­fer to him from Sinn Fein’s Johnny Mythen.

She said: ‘My brief ex­pe­ri­ence with Fine Gael thought me a lot. I am now sat­is­fied that life as an in­de­pen­dent is the ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum for me. It al­lows me to high­light with­out fear the is­sues which af­fect the peo­ple of County Wex­ford.’

VERONA MUR­PHY has an­nounced that she is run­ning as an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date in the Gen­eral Elec­tion.

Ms Mur­phy said hav­ing re­flected on her by-elec­tion cam­paign and sub­se­quent de-se­lec­tion from the Fine Gael ticket she feels the time is right to run for Dáil Eire­ann as an In­de­pen­dent.

Taoiseach Leo Varad­kar is set to an­nounce a date for the Gen­eral Elec­tion this week, with po­lit­i­cal pun­dits sug­gest­ing Fe­bru­ary 7 or St Valen­tine’s Day as the like­li­est dates.

Ms Mur­phy came third in the by-elec­tion, hav­ing been in sec­ond place be­hind Mal­colm Byrne by virtue of a strong 9,543 first pref­er­ence vote – be­fore be­ing leapfrogge­d by Wex­ford Mayor Ge­orge Lawlor – fol­low­ing a mas­sive trans­fer to him from Sinn Fein’s Johnny Mythen.

She said: ‘My time with Fine Gael is over, I have moved on, I am now an In­de­pen­dent can­di­date. My brief ex­pe­ri­ence with Fine Gael thought me a lot. I am now sat­is­fied that life as an in­de­pen­dent is the ap­pro­pri­ate fo­rum for me. It al­lows me to high­light with­out fear the is­sues which af­fect the peo­ple of County Wex­ford. Af­ter all pol­i­tics is not about the politi­cian it’s about the peo­ple they rep­re­sent.’

The Rams­grange woman said all of the main par­ties are lim­it­ing free speech.

‘I have learned this first-hand. An in­de­pen­dent politi­cian is free to high­light any is­sues that af­fect the peo­ple of Wex­ford with­out fear. Wex­ford needs is a strong in­de­pen­dent voice. I be­lieve I have the skill set to do that job.’

Ms Mur­phy is cam­paign­ing on the fol­low­ing is­sues: ‘ Ob­tain­ing Tier 1 Sta­tus for Ross­lare Euro­port, im­proved men­tal health fa­cil­i­ties for Wex­ford, im­proved ser­vices and poli­cies to al­le­vi­ate the Dublin/ru­ral di­vide, a third level fa­cil­ity for Wex­ford and im­prove af­ford­able hous­ing sup­ply.’

When asked is she will be high­light­ing se­cu­rity is­sues for the coun­try over the com­ing weeks, the Pres­i­dent of the Ir­ish Road Haulage Associatio­n said: ‘I will al­ways where I feel it nec­es­sary and ap­pro­pri­ate high­light se­cu­rity is­sues.’

Ms Mur­phy said her much com­mented fall­ing out with Taoiseach Leo Varadar and Fine Gael is in the past. ‘ That cam­paign is over now. I am very re­silient, and I am look­ing for­ward to the fu­ture.’

She ad­dressed the Fine Gael party at a meet­ing in En­nis­cor­thy on Mon­day night last week at which she thanked the party for giv­ing her an op­por­tu­nity.

Ms Mur­phy shot to na­tional promi­nence be­com­ing the most high pro­file can­di­date in the by-elec­tion when she made com­ments about im­mi­grants, in­clud­ing that there was a pos­si­bil­ity chil­dren as young as three had been in­fil­trated by Isis and that some mi­grants may need to be de­pro­grammed.

Ms Mur­phy said the New Ross Stan­dard ac­cu­rately re­ported her com­ments.

‘ The com­ments were not in­tended to be racist, the peo­ple of Wex­ford know I am not racist. I have also dealt with this is­sue in my in­ter­views be­fore Christ­mas, I do not in­tend to com­ment any fur­ther.’

She said her le­gal team is con­sid­er­ing tak­ing le­gal ac­tion against some me­dia or­gan­i­sa­tions for al­legedly mis­re­port­ing com­ments first re­ported in this news­pa­per.

‘County Wex­ford needs strong voices in Dáil Eire­ann. I am that strong voice, I want to be elected for my abil­ity not my gen­der.’

Ms Mur­phy is fund­ing her cam­paign through loans and from per­sonal re­sources. ‘Should peo­ple like to make a con­tri­bu­tion they can do so in line with the SIPO rules.’

Ms Mur­phy said she is run­ning to win and not to re­store her rep­u­ta­tion, which she claims was the sub­ject of a char­ac­ter as­sas­si­na­tion at­tempt in some me­dia out­lets dur­ing the end of her cam­paign in Novem­ber.

‘I will work to rep­re­sent the peo­ple of Wex­ford who are be­ing left be­hind by Dublin cen­tric poli­cies. The Gov­ern­ment has failed ru­ral Ire­land, men­tal health ser­vices in Wex­ford, Wex­ford farm­ers, fish­er­men, Ross­lare Euro­port, job cre­ation in Wex­ford. As a busi­ness­woman, a three-time Pres­i­dent of the IRHA and as an EU ap­pointed ad­vo­cate for women in trans­port I stand on my record I al­ways stand by my com­ments, I may apol­o­gise for the lan­guage used, how­ever the is­sued raised in those com­ments stand.’

Gen­eral elec­tion can­di­date Verona Mur­phy.

Verona Mur­phy who has con­firmed she will run as an in­de­pen­dent can­di­date.

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