Sinn Fein councillor for Tullamore, Brendan Killeavy, has dismissed as ‘propaganda and scare tactics similar to those used in the Lisbon Treaty campaign’, the recent comments by Fine Gael Minister for the Environment and Local Government, Phil Hogan, in relation to US capital investment in Ireland if Martin McGuinness was to be elected President.
“For Minister Hogan to come out with a statement such as US companies would be ‘appalled’, and also, that Ireland’s competitors for foreign direct investment would ‘not be slow to whisper about a terrorist in the park’ is utter nonsense, blatant lies and scaremongering.
“The facts are that Martin McGuinness, in his role as Deputy First Minister in the North of Ireland, has already used his skills, profile and many contacts in the US, in cities such as New York, Boston, San Francisco, Chicago along with many others, to help attract investors and jobs to this island. In the last four years 150 separate investments have been secured with 13,000 jobs promoted,” said Cllr Killeavy.
He said his performance speaks for itself. Cllr Killeavy said Q1 Labs have £4m investment plans to establish operation in Belfast with 50 new high quality jobs, the New York Stock Exchange Euronext announced up to 400 new jobs in Belfast in October 2009 and CYBERSOURCE announced 56 new high quality jobs during the USNI Investment Conference, to name but a few.
Councillor Killeavy added: “Maybe the next time Phil Hogan wants to comment on this area he’ll take a few minutes to check his facts first. And who’s to say, maybe he and the current government might even pick up a few ideas themselves, something they’ve been woefully short of in this regard so far.”
Councillor Killeavy also criticised Fine Gael’s candidate Gay Mitchell for his repeated attacks on Martin McGuinness, saying: “He is engaging in a negative campaign because his own campaign is in trouble. In a way, he has to concentrate on somebody else’s past because there’s not much to concentrate on in his own future where this election is concerned.”
He said Mr Mitchell is quoted as saying he “has spent all his life defending this state”. “Well I say he has spent all his life living off of this state and living off of the fat of the land. How exactly has he been defending this country while he’s been involved in promoting most European treaties from the 1980s to present, which have slowly but surely eroded our national sovereignty. Is this what Gay Mitchell means by defending the state?” asked the Sinn Fein Cllr.
Councillor Killeavy went on to express his belief that, “Martin McGuinness is a man who has constantly demonstrated his leadership ability throughout his entire life, from the streets of his native Derry to the halls of government in the North of Ireland. He would lead by example in taking only the average industrial wage for the honour of becoming Ireland’s next President. In times like these, we need a President whose passion for his country allows him not only to put the people of Ireland first, but to put himself with the people of Irelandt.”
Councillor Killeavy concluded by saying, “I am asking the people of Offaly, to come out and support Martin McGuinness on October 27.”